Author Archives: Mangrove Action Project

The MAP News, 148th Ed., 14 Dec 2004

Dear Friends,

This is the 148th Edition of the Mangrove Action Project News. Please consider the following rather urgent request from MAP:

3rd and Final Announcement: MAP SEEKS TO MATCH A $5000 GRANT

Dear MAP Supporters,,

You can help MAP match a $5,000 grant from two long time supporters. If you donate now to MAP the value of your contribution will be matched till we reach our goal of $10,000!

Your generous support for our 2004 Matching Fund, will among other things allow Mangrove Action Project to launch our Migratory Bird Flyway Protection Campaign to halt destruction of important migratory stopover sites in the mangrove wetlands found along their long migratory routes where they must feed and rest before continuing on. Without these key stopover sites, millions of migrating waders, shorebirds, waterfowl and land birds will be endangered, and whole migrations could be disrupted and entire species extinguished in a short time.

Please give to MAP today, earmarking your contribution to Protect The Mangrove Flyways!

Additional Note: Our 2005 Children’s Art Calendars are now available; these make great gifts for the new year! Please order your calendars now, and support MAP’s important efforts!

For the Mangroves!

Alfredo Quarto,
Mangrove Action Project

Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.

Contents for MAP NEWS, 148th Edition, 14 December 2004

FEATURE STORY
Letters Needed To Halt Mangrove Destruction In Bahamas
SAY No to the proposed Development on the North End of Guana Cay!
***ACTION ALERT!!!***

MAP WORKS
Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop
MAP Seeking Professional Development Coordinator
MAP Launches Program To Protect Migratory Bird Flyway Routes
SODIS—An Effective Water Treatment Method
MAP’s Art Gallery Website
Take A Coffee Break For the Mangroves!
MAP’s Children’s Mangrove Art Calendars for 2005 Now Available!!!
Work-Study Tours In the Mangroves
John Gray Sea Canoe Eco-Tours

AFRICA

Senegal
African Mangrove Network Holds 1st Conference in Senegal

Nigeria
Niger Delta Group Battles Shell, US AID Over Shrimp Farm Plan

Cameroon
Stakeholders Sign Mangrove Conservation Plan

ASIA

S.E. ASIA

Thailand
PM gets tough with EU over food rules
Conservation could pave road to peace
Southern farmers gear up for increased sales
Worries over Phangnga bay exploitation
Mission dugong wins

Indonesia
Small-Scale Shrimp Farms Blamed For Mangrove Loss?

S. ASIA

Bangladesh
Why Shrimp Farms and Mangroves Don’t Mix
Urgent: Seismic survey in block 5 –Sundarbans!
Five Star Mega Tourism Project To Destroy The Largest Mangrove Forest Of The World
Fish production declines in Sundarban
Future of shrimp cultivation
Organic Shrimp Production In Bangladesh?

OCEANIA

Australia
Ramsar Site Law Suit Brings Judgement Against Despoilers

LATIN AMERICA

Brazil
Brazil to take US shrimp tariff to WTO
Drop in Exports of Shrimp from Ceara for Trimester

Belize
Legal moves to protect world heritage

Mexico
Corporate-environmentalist alliance buys sensitive coastland

Caribbean
Bimini Bay Project Still Causing Worries
Bimini Bay project under fire again
The Bimini project—An Editorial

NORTH AMERICA

USA
Too Little is Known About the Health
Consequences of Farm-Raised Shrimp
White House Upholds Tariffs on Shrimp
Jumbo idea in Nevada

STORIES/ISSUES
UNEP Global Sustainable Production and Consumption Seminar Meets
HUNDREDS OF NEW OCEAN SPECIES
New World Conservation Boss Eyes Climate, Oceans
Global fishing trade takes jobs, food from poor
Greens fear for fisheries in wake of Bush scheme
Report to UN focuses on role of fish, fishery resources in right to food for all
Massive peat burn is speeding climate change

ANNOUNCEMNETS
Wastewater Gardens Website Explains Important Technology

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS
Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Course Feb 28-Mar 18, 2005
“A Stain Upon The Sea” Blasts Salmon Aquaculture Industry

AQUACULTURE CORNER
Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform

FEATURE STORY

Letters Needed To Halt Mangrove Destruction In Bahamas

Caribbean

The Bimini Bay Development
An Ongoing Environmental Disaster

The Bimini’s are a small group of isolated Bahamian islands and cays fifty miles east of Miami, Florida. Immortalized by Ernest Hemingway in his novel “Islands in the Stream”, Bimini is famous as the original home of big game fishing in the Gulf Stream waters. The two principal islands are North and South Bimini which lie adjacent to each other in a pairing seven miles long north to south that forms a lagoon, mangrove estuary and sea grass habitat. At the southwest end of North Bimini is Alicetown perched on a narrow strip of high ground where the majority of Bimini’s 1600 residents live. A number of other natives and foreigners live in developments on South Bimini. Until recently the rest of North Bimini was uninhabited and most is still a combination of mangrove wetlands and sandy scrub areas. Bimini has the only mangrove estuary on the entire northwest Great Bahama Bank and serves as a fish nursery for thousands of square miles of sea bottom. This rich area has supported commercial and recreational fishing for nearly a century and it is the unique geography of North Bimini that makes this possible. Contained within Bimini’s north pointing arrow headed shape is an extensive system of tidal flow channels which course through mangrove habitat. In the northern interior is North Sound, a shallow large cul-de-sac surrounded by mangroves that researchers have found to be the richest area for post larval fish and invertebrate development in all of Bimini. The warm waters of the north flowing Gulf Stream deliver millions of floating larval sea creatures every day to Bimini where they settle and begin to develop. Generations of Biminites have earned their living from the conch and lobster that originate in the Bimini lagoon and disperse throughout the region. Now however, Bimini faces biological annihilation.

Of critical concern is the ongoing construction of a mega-development on North Bimini. Known as the Bimini Bay Resort and Casino, Phase I of the present three phase plan is well on it’s way to completion. The developer, Gerardo Capo of Miami, Florida plans to build homes and condominium apartments for thousands of people, a large marina, a gambling casino and worst of all, a golf course, all on an island with no room for such a project. Most of the golf course will be built on what is now mangrove wetland adjacent to North Sound which will be dredged and the sea bottom destroyed. The surrounding land will be scarified and filled. Also, there is no adequate plan for disposing of the solid waste or sewerage that so many residents will generate and no plan to prevent golf course fertilizer runoff from entering the remaining natural areas. Mr. Capo has little regard for the environment and his bulldozers and backhoes have already destroyed large numbers of mangroves, dug up the seafloor and silted the entire North Bimini lagoon with dredge effluent. Research scientists and fishermen working there have reported a catastrophic decline in biological productivity. Their work has revealed reductions in numerous species including conch, lobster and the lemon shark, a top predator that traditionally reproduces in the shallow waters of the lagoon. Examination of shark specimens has revealed neurological damage due to the release of toxins during the dredging operations. This is just the beginning of problems for Bimini. If allowed to be built, Phases II & III will destroy the Islands’ biology.

Many native Biminites and environmentalists are desperate to stop Bimini Bay at Phase I before Capo enters North Sound but to date the National Government in Nassau ignores their pleas. The government did “force” Mr. Capo to reduce the scope of his project somewhat and now tout it as “environmentally friendly” but the reality is that it’s no more than window dressing. The same amount of land will be scarified, dredged and filled. Furthermore Capo has plans not only to do Phases I, II & III but to expand into all of the remaining uninhabited areas of North Bimini. The greatest irony is that another branch of the Government, the Bahamas Reef Environmental Education Foundation (BREEF) is simultaneously trying to create a marine sanctuary in North Bimini that would preclude Capo’s Phase II & III development plans. Already on paper, the plan is referred to as the Bimini Marine Protected Area or MPA. It was recognized early on that so vital was the Bimini MPA that it was to be the first one designated. Unfortunately communication between BREEF and other parts of the government seem non-existent and the time table has been derailed by Capo’s development. BREEF has plans drawn for a sanctuary in and around North Sound and their representatives were in Bimini recently to tell the locals about it. People who attended the meeting voiced strong opposition to Capo and supported the MPA but BREEF seems to have no power to counter the development. In Bahamian politics Bimini is considered a backwater and so officials in the National Government often make their decisions based on direct negotiations with Capo to the exclusion of the Bimini residents. Capo promises all kinds of employment for Bahamians but then imports cheap labor from Mexico and other poor countries. Rarely are more than a few Bahamians employed on his project but the Nassau government allows him to continue.

Bimini is a special place both biologically and historically and it needs international help if it is to survive. The Bahamian Government must be convinced to stop Bimini Bay at Phase I and to implement the Bimini MPA. Historically the Government of the Bahamas responds to public outcry if it is indeed public. A letter writing campaign can be most effective but all letters, whether directly to the newspapers or to the politicians must get press coverage. To ensure this the letters to government officials should be “open letters” and copies should be sent to all major newspapers in the Bahamas. Press coverage in the USA can also be helpful, particularly in Florida newspapers and magazine publications that cater to the fishing and diving community.

Bimini can be rescued if enough people make enough noise. Please consider writing to the Bahamas and ask them to save Bimini.

From: “William C. Parks”
bertram25@att.net

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Related Breaking News

SAY No to the proposed Development on the North End of Guana Cay!

No to 49-acre “Land Giveaway” and No to a Golf Course and Marina that equates to a death sentence for a reef that is just 50 feet offshore.

12/10/04: saveguanacayreef.com Goes Live! Check here for the latest info.
12/08/04: Bimini Bay Project Under Fire. A good example of the people speaking out.
Read this great story in the Nassau Guardian.
12/07/04: Make sure your voice is heard.
Contact the individuals listed in the “What you can do” section of this site.

Passerine Development is a 585-acre luxury golf course and 240-slip marina that is completely private for members only. This is larger than Treasure Cay or Boat Harbor. The 3rd largest barrier reef in the world lies only 50 feet from shore and closer in places. The golf course and associated pollutants will kill the reef – it is inevitable. The marina is set to be dredged in behind Joe’s Creek, the island’s only and last fish estuary – a crime. Not only is the environmental side a total and complete devastation of the crystal Bahamian waters and reefs, but PM Christy has GIVEN 49-acres of crown land to the foreign developers.

“Save Guana Cay Reef” is a group dedicated to protecting this natural wonder and ensuring that there is a long lasting legacy for Abaconians.

===========

***ACTION ALERT!!!***

Please Write Letters Of Protest Against The Planned Bimini Bay Development

Sample Letter:

Dear Prime Minister Christie,

I am writing you out of deep concern for the fate of the mangrove forest of Bimini Island and Guana Cay Reef, both of which are now endangered by ruinous and unsustainable development plans.

I have heard disturbing news that the Bimini Bay Resort and Casino is now taking place, and that Phase 1 has already transpired against the wishes of the majority of the local population and contrary to the recommendations of a scientific study which recommended against this unsound project.

The developer, Gerardo Capo of Miami, Florida plans to build homes and condominium apartments for thousands of people, a large marina, a gambling casino and worst of all, a golf course, all on an island with no room for such a project. Most of the golf course will be built on what is now mangrove wetland adjacent to North Sound, which will be dredged and the sea bottom destroyed. The surrounding land will be scarified and filled. Also, there is no adequate plan for disposing of the solid waste or sewerage that so many residents will generate and no plan to prevent golf course fertilizer runoff from entering the remaining natural areas.

Also, Passerine Development is a 585-acre luxury golf course and 240-slip marina that is completely private for members only.. The 3rd largest barrier reef in the world lies only 50 feet from shore and closer in places. The golf course and associated pollutants will kill the reef – it is inevitable. The marina is set to be dredged in behind Joe’s Creek, the island’s only and last fish estuary. This too is a terrible idea, which will have disastrous consequences.

In short, these developments are disasters waiting to happen. Please take steps now to halt the further loss to these important and beautiful places, which will otherwise be further degraded and destroyed by these extremely short-sighted and unsustainable development plans.

Sincerely.

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HERE ARE SOME GOOD NAMES TO WRITE TO Concerning Bimini Island:

The Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie – Prime Minister
The Office of the Prime Minister
Cecil Wallace – Whitfield Centre
Cable Beach
P.O. Box N 3217
Nassau, N.P. Bahamas

Livingston S. Marshall
Environmental Consultant
Office of the Prime Minister
P.O. Box CB-10980
Nassau, Bahamas

Michael T. Braynen
Director of Fisheries
Department of Fisheries
P.O. Box N-3028, Nassau, The Bahamas

Mr. K. Smith
BEST Commission, Ministry of Health and Environment
Nassau Court
P.O. Box N 3730
Nassau, The Bahamas

Hon. Obediah H. Wilchcombe, M.P.
Ministry of Tourism
British Colonial Hilton Hotel
Bay Street
P.O. Box N3701
Nassau, N.P. Bahamas

Editor
Nassau Guardian
P.O. Box N-3011
Nassau, New Providence
Bahamas
email: editor@nasguard.com
email: anthony@nasguard.com

Editor
The Punch
P.O. Box N-4081
Nassau, New Providence
Bahamas
Contact: Ivan Johnson tel: (242)-322-7112
email: thepunch@coralwave.com

Editor
The Bahamas Journal
email: bahjour@coralwave.com

Editor
email: oswaldtbrown@hotmail.com

MAP WORKS

ANNOUNCEMENT: Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop

The third “Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop will be held at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, in Hollywood, Florida, USA, 21-24 February 2005. The training site is within a 500 ha mangrove restoration project at West Lake Park operated by Broward County. The award-winning project was designed by Roy R. “Robin” Lewis III, who will be teaching the course.

The workshop includes an introduction to mangrove forest ecology, management options and problems, and restoration design issues. The class programs are all given in a PowerPoint format, and each student is provided with a print out of the presentation and additional handouts including monitoring reports for typical restoration projects. Case studies of 5 successful mangrove restoration projects, and several unsuccessful projects, are discussed. Field trips are taken within the 500 ha West Lake Park mangrove restoration project (now 16 years old) and a new project just two years old, for a comparison.

The emphasis is on cost-effective successful mangrove management and restoration, and cost figures for typical projects are discussed and explained. The hydrologic restoration of mangroves is emphasized as the best approach to successful restoration at minimal cost (see Erftemeijer and Lewis 2000, Lewis 1999, 2000a, 2000b, Lewis and Marshall 1998, Lewis and Streever 2000, Stevenson et. al 1999, and Turner and Lewis 1997, for further discussion about hydrologic restoration of mangroves). Planting of mangroves is discussed in light of the many failures of this alone to successfully restore mangroves.

Cost for the course not including travel to Ft. Lauderdale, lodging or food is $650, due by January 1, 2005. Two qualified students are being allowed to attend for free, but these two slots are now filled for the 2005 course. This course is taught in conjunction with the Mangrove Action Project.

More information can be provided by Robin Lewis at
LESRRL3@AOL.COM
and
www.mangroverestoration.com.

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MAP Seeking Professional Development Coordinator

Mangrove Action Project is now seeking to fill an important new position within our staff for an experienced and dynamic Development Coordinator. This person will be responsible for fundraising and implementing a comprehensive development and public relations program for MAP. Previous related work with non-profits is required, as are strong communication and organizational skills and experience in fundraising, including grant writing, membership drives and organizing public events.

For more details, please write MAP at mangroveap@olympus.net, or call at 360-452-5866

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MAP Launches Program To Protect Migratory Bird Flyway Routes

Mangrove Action Project has recently launched a new campaign that aims to address the serious issues affecting migratory bird flyways, especially focusing on important stopover sites where birds feed and rest in the mangrove wetlands. These stopover sites are essential in ensuring these many diverse species of migratory birds survive their long, arduous flights between, for example, North and South America, or between Africa and Europe, as well as within greater Asia.

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Note: MAP and our partner NGOs working in Indonesia are occasionally holding SODIS Workshops at the Coastal Community Resource Centers. The following is a brief description of this important and effective water treatment technique which deserves wider attention and application:

SODIS—An Effective Water Treatment Method

SODIS, a simple technology, affordable for every household, which can improve the microbiological quality of drinking water by using solar radiation has been given a special award at the Energy Globe Awards 2004

Using simplicity to combat a major global problem and putting discarded plastic to good use along the way. In 1991 the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology, EAWAG and SANDEC, developed and tested the Solar Water Disinfections Process SODIS. At least one third of the population, about 1,1 billion people, in developing countries have no access to safe drinking water. The lack of adequate water supply and sanitation facilities causes a serious health hazard, shown by the fact that there are about 4 billion cases of diarrhea per year, out of which 2.5 million cases end in death. Every 15 seconds a child dies of dehydration due to diarrhea.

The Energy Globe Award is the most significant environmental award worldwide. Best practice projects and initiatives for a careful and efficient use of our resources are awarded each year in the categories earth, energy, water, air and youth. This year more than 600 projects from 100 countries have applied for the Energy Globe Award. SODIS was given a special award for 2004

SODIS offers a simple technology, affordable for every household, in order to improve the microbiological quality of drinking water by using solar radiation to destroy pathogenic microorganisms. Contaminated water is filled into transparent PET bottles and exposed to sunlight for six hours. Sunlight treats the contaminated water through two synergetic mechanisms: Radiation in the spectrum of UV-A and increased water temperature.

Another possible method for water disinfection like boiling the water before drinking is rarely used because often firewood is rare and expensive. Chlorination would be another possibility, but dependant on the availability of this chemical in remote areas. However, chlorinated water is rarely accepted by people because of its bad taste. Since 1995, SANDEC is engaged in providing information, technical support and advice to local institutions in developing countries for the worldwide promotion and dissemination of SODIS.

During the World Water Days 2001, SODIS was recommended by the WHO as a cheap and simple method of drinking water treatment. In October 2000 “Fundación Sodis” was founded to support the implementation in Latin America. 2001 the “Solaqua Foundation” was established and began supporting local NGO’s in Kenya, South Africa, Zambia, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Cambodia.

For information about SODIS contact:
Regula Meierhofer
Dept. of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (SANDEC)
email: regula.meierhofer@sodis.ch
www.sodis.ch

More information about the award.

From: map-indo@dps.centrin.net.id

==========================================

ENJOYABLE WAYS TO HELP SUPPORT MAP

MAP’s Art Gallery Website

Visit the Website of Chilean artist Monica Gutierrez-Quarto to view her gallery café of beautiful prints and paintings.

“I’m happy to introduce my gallery web site. www.gutierrez-Quartogallery.com
Please pass on to others to help increase the visibility A percentage of all sales generated via my website will go towards supporting the good work of Mangrove Action Project.”

For More Information, Please Contact: monicagquarto@olympus.net

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Take A Coffee Break For the Mangroves!

Mangrove Action Project
and Grounds for Change

Help support the Mangrove Action Project through the purchase of Grounds for Change triple-certified coffee! Grounds for Change will donate 10% of purchase price to the Mangrove Action Project each time you make a purchase at the Grounds for Change web site. It’s a great way to support socially and environmentally-conscious coffee and healthy mangrove forests across the globe.

You can participate in one of two ways:

1. Visit the Mangrove Action Project web site and click on the DONATE TO MAP THROUGH YOUR NEXT CUP OF COFFEE link.

Or, Click on
2. this link

You will then be directed to the Grounds for Change web site.

Grounds for Change sells only Fair Trade, Organic, Shade-Grown coffee which is roasted by hand, to-order at their family owned facility on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. Grounds for Change is a member of TransFair USA, the Songbird Foundation and the Fair Trade Federation. Grounds for Change further supports fair trade economics by donating 1% of profits to the Fair Trade Federation.

Please note that in order for the 10% donation to be made to MAP, supporters must follow one of the two options outlined above.

From mangroveap@olympus.net

—————————————————–

MAP’s Children’s Mangrove Art Calendars for 2005 Now Available!!!

MAP’s new Children’s Mangrove Art 2005 Calendars are now available. In addition to these beautiful calendars, we are selling packets of 5 beautiful greeting cards containing several mangrove images from Monica Gutierrez-Quarto’s artwork. to raise funds for MAP.

We are now requesting your help in selling both the calendars and card sets for MAP. If interested, please let us know how many calendars and card sets you will need.

Note: The following costs are based upon the numbers of calendars ordered:

The Calendars
1-49 Calendars @ $12 per calendar including postage in the US, $14 for outside the US
50-99 @ $10 per calendar including postage $12 outside the US
100 or more at $8 per calendar including postage, $10 outside the US

The Card Sets
Each packet of 5 cards is being sold by MAP for $10. including postage.

The calendars and card sets are beautiful items, and will make wonderful gifts for friends and family, as well as provide needed funding support for MAP at this critical time! Any donation of $35 or more qualifies the donor for an annual membership with a free calendar or card set! Please give generously today!

PLEASE help MAP stay in this fight for the future by becoming a donating subscriber today! Check our website for details or contact: mangroveap@olympus.net

==============================================

Work-Study Tours In the Mangroves

MAP Volunteer Work Study Tour for Mexico’s Yucatan Postponed Till January

A mangrove-restoration and sea turtle conservation project on the Caribbean coast of Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico has been postponed from its original October 2nd date to early next year. The revised tour dates are from Jan. 8-18, 2005. This tour will help restore degraded mangroves and help rescue or care for threatened baby sea turtles, as well as explore the unique cenote (undersea cave systems) and extensive reef ecosystems of the region, as well as visit the nearby Mayan ruins and beautiful beaches. Please join MAP and local volunteers from the surrounding communities in undertaking important beach cleanup and restoration work in a paradise-like setting now threatened by short-sighted development. There will also be a workshop that deals with important and timely ecological and social justice issues.

MAP will be co-sponsoring this tour with the local NGO, SAVE, in Mexico. The tour will be limited to ten to twelve volunteers, so please register early to assure your place on what should be a very interesting experience!

For more information, please contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net

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MAP Eco-Study Tours In Thailand

MANGROVE ACTION PROJECT’S
SPIRIT OF THAILAND COASTAL RESOURCES PROGRAM

AN EXPERIENTIAL STUDY OF THAILAND’S COASTAL RESOURCES
AND THE PEOPLE WHO DEPEND ON THEM
A new two-week experiential ecology program will provide an opportunity to experience first hand and learn about Thailand’s mangrove forests and other critical, often threatened coastal wetlands. A group of up to 16 people will be guided by Dr. Lamar Robert, a long term resident of Thailand with many years of experience leading groups in experiential learning. Your adventure begins with a tour of the canals of Bangkok, the capital city, in the past referred to as the Venice of the East, before visiting the Wildlife Fund of Thailand, the national WWF affiliate.

From Bangkok you travel to Thailand’s first coastal national park, Khao Sam Roi Yot (The Mountain with 300 Peaks) Marine National Park, on the Gulf of Thailand to observe marine and freshwater wetlands of international importance as well as see beautiful beaches. Learn about the environmental and social impacts of prawn farming. The park also offers a good opportunity to view Water Birds, Dusky Languor and Water Monitor Lizards.

By overnight sleeper train you continue south to Trang Province on the Andaman Sea. Here you will meet with representatives of two different types of NGOs: the international organization, Mangrove Action Project (MAP), and the grass-roots NGO Yadfon Association; Both which are working in different ways to protect Thailand’s coastal resources while improving the lives of the local people who depend on coastal resources for their livelihood.

From Trang you travel by bus to the island province of Phuket, the historical center of maritime activities in ancient Thailand. Here you will visit the aquarium of the Phuket Marine Biological Center and learn about the endangered “Dugong” a close relative of the Manatee and the importance of seagrass from a Thai marine biologist.

For the trip highlight you will spend three days on an island located in famous Phang Nga Bay, populated by traditional fisherfolk. You will actually live in the villages with the local people as you learn about their ways of life and their activities to conserve coastal resources on which their livelihood intrinsically depends. The program ends with a convenient departure from Phuket’s International Airport or you may choose to travel on independently.

Following the MAP program a special optional trip will be offered for those interested in an amazing adventure. This Eco-tourism trip in Phang Nga Bay offers an outstanding opportunity to experience caves and mangroves from the viewing platform of a sea kayak. The award winning John Gray SeaCanoe will make arrangements.

Program Dates: Feb.14-27, 2005
Fee not including airfare or food: $800/person
For more information contact: Dr. Lamar Robert lamar@thailand.com

(If you’re not interest in this study-tour please pass this flyer on to someone who might be or post it at your work place or school. THANKS

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”
mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

—————————————————–

John Gray Sea Canoe Eco-Tours
MAP voted “Best of the Best”

MAP encourages anyone who wishes to sea kayak in Thailand to use environmentally responsible guides, and supports JGSC as the best of the best. we are being offered a 20% contribution. the customer booking a tour must indicate that they saw the ad on MAP’s website in order for MAP to receive a commission from “JOHN GRAY’S SEACANOE”.

For More Details: John Gray Sea Canoe Eco-Tours
MAP voted “Best of the Best”

John Gray’s SeaCanoe celebrates 20 years of “Natural History by Sea Kayak” by donating 20% of your JGSC booking to MAP. If you seek an exotic and unique adventure, contact info@johngray-seacanoe.com . Make your 20% donation directly to MAP and JGSC credits the contribution to your Tropical Kayaking adventure.

From: “John Gray’s SeaCanoe”
jgsc@upc1.loxinfo.co.th

AFRICA

Senegal

African Mangrove Network Holds 1st Conference in Senegal

The first gathering of the African Mangrove Network will be held in Dakar and Foundiougne, Senegal from Dec. 14-19, 2004. Participants from various coastal nations in Africa will gather to help set up ,a more formal network structure by which the AMN will function and grow. Abdoulaye Diame, the Acting Secretary for the AMN, is directing his NGO, WAAME in organizing for this landmark event. MAP’s Executive Director will also be attending.

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Nigeria
19th November, 2004

NIGER DELTA GROUP BATTLES SHELL, USAID
OVER INDUSTRIAL SHRIMP FARMING

The Conservation Programme of the Niger Delta Project for Environment, Human Rights and Development (NDPEHRD) is a rural-based, rural-focused group working in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. They have vehemently decried the plans by Shell and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to commence industrial Shrimp farming in Rivers State in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, in spite of outcry and protestations against the project.

The environmental non-governmental Organization (ENGO) is in the possession of a letter dated November 11, 2004 and addressed to Mr. S. Langeveld, Director of BothEnds, an Amsterdam, Netherlands-based organization. The document , signed by Basil E. Omiyi, Managing Director of Shell, entitled, USAID/Shell Aquaculture Project states inter-alia, “The Shrimp (in salt/brackish water dwelling) as well as the prawn (in fresh water dwelling) culture project is one of the aquaculture programmes in our Global Development Alliance with USAID/Shell – Nigeria”.

The Shell/USAID letter which was ostensibly a reply to a previous letter written by the Dutch International environmental non-profit organization regarding the project. The letter revealed “preliminary planning discussions are on-going to conduct a pilot feasibility study for salt water and plain/fresh-water Shrimp and Prawn production in the Niger Delta. This exercise will be conducted by independent impact experts prior to programme implementation in compliance with Shell’s policy that no project is commenced before an integrated Environmental, Social Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) is carried out and independently verified in accordance with international recognized best practice”.

“While existing literature and past lessons indicate that mangrove areas are not ecologically suitable for commercial shrimps/prawn production, an increasing body of experts and organizations (including the FAO) have established through pilot research and initiatives that shrimp can be cultured and produced in salt-water plains. This is in the context of an evolving policy of ‘responsible aquaculture’ which is being promoted internationally, especially by the FAO”. Omiyi also stated in his letter to Both Ends.

Shell and its partner, USAID have contributed a whooping sum of US $20million for the establishment of Shrimp Farm in the Niger Delta, dubbed a “Sustainable Development” project. NDPEHRD argues that the shrimp farming project as it is presently conceived will not better the lives of the peoples of the delta languishing in poverty caused by oil and gas extraction. The major objective of the Shell/USAID Industrial Farming Project is to boast Nigeria’s Shrimp export.

We are worried that the Niger Delta’s mangroves have been targeted by the USAID/Shell Project in spite of their claims about “responsible aquaculture”. Indeed, there is a widespread acknowledgement (even among Shrimp farmers elsewhere) that industrial aquaculture operation on mangrove lands is inherently unsustainable. The mangrove forests are multi-resource based eco-systems, the appendages of which include the livelihood source of the local people.

NDPEHRD is aware of the negative consequences and attendant dislocation of the lives and environment of the rural peoples of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Brazil, Peru, etc caused by industrial Shrimp farming. As the duo of USAID and Shell continue their plans to carry out the Industrial Shrimp Farming Project irrespective of outcry and protestations against it, we join thousands of concerned people and groups in the Niger Delta, Nigeria and the wider world to voice our protest against this destructive project. We call for its immediate discontinuity.

Join NDPEHRD’s campaigns against the project now.

Issued by:

Zabbey, Nenibarini
Head, Conservation Programme
Niger Delta Project for Environment,
Human Rights and Development
(NDPEHRD)
6, Obo Nwanboke Street,
Post Office Building,
P. O. Box 590,
Ogale-Nchia,
Eleme,
Rivers State,
Nigeria.
Tel: 234-803-3367823
234-803-7504608
Tel: c/o 234-84-236365
E-mail: nigerdeltaproject@yahoo.com

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Stakeholders sign a platform for mangrove conservation in the Douala-Edea Region, Cameroon

Gordon Ajonina and Fidèle Mekongo
CWCS Douala-Edea Forest Project, BP 54 Mouanko,
Littoral Province, Cameroon, West Africa.
cwcsmko@yahoo.fr

Stakeholders grouping fishermen, mangrove wood cutters, traders in fisheries products, NGOs, traditional authorities, municipal councils, government services of fisheries, forestry and agriculture and foreign fisheries operators in the Douala-Edea mangrove zone, Cameroon have expressed their unflinching commitment to mangrove conservation by signing recently a platform. The platform signing ceremony was presided by the Senior District Officer for Sanaga-Maritime Division, Mr Ahbukar Ahmart. Before the historic signing ceremony, two series of local workshops chaired by the Sub District Officer for Mouanko were organized in the two mangrove villages of Mbiako and Yoyo during which the activities of each stakeholder were cross examined and their impact on mangrove forest ecosystem assessed before the emergence of the final resolutions to regulate and harmonize their activities within the mangrove ecosystem of the area.

The decision of the stakeholders to engage in such a platform was timely following an impending damage to the mangrove ecosystem due mainly to fishing activities which cut the mangrove wood to preserve fish catch through smoking. Douala-Edea mangroves constitute over 10 % of 300 000 ha of Cameroon mangroves and is the most threatened from unregulated fishing activities of local and foreign fishermen constituting over 70% of over 10000 mangrove population mainly from neighboring and West African countries of Nigeria, Benin and Ghana. There are also pollution threats from surrounding agro-industrial companies, petroleum exploration activities and urbanization. Forest and socioeconomic surveys carried out by Cameroon Wildlife Conservation Society, a national research and conservation NGO working within the region since 1997 under the framework of developing a community-based management plan for the Douala-Edea reserve puts mangrove deforestation due to fish smoking activities at over 180 000 m3 per annum . The fish is mostly smoked on low efficiency platforms locally called ‘bandas’ implanted in Nypa thatched houses characterized by great loss of heat energy and circulation of smoke, with serious health problems to the smoker ranging from breathing and sight difficulties, headache, general fatigue and inhalation of poisonous gases from smoke produced during burning of wood (pyrolysis) to incidence of fire accidents. Faced with this ugly phenomenon, CWCS has been working with the local population for ways of sustainable exploitation of the mangrove forests. Community organization; installation of energy saving smokehouses and ice plants; and mangrove restoration through replanting degraded sites were considered of utmost priority. Locally adapted model smoke houses were put in place with the support of MAP (Mangrove Action Project), SNV (Netherlands Development Organization) and Novib (Netherlands Organization for International Development Co-operation) and formed the basis of the joint organized CWCS-MAP Edea May 2003 ‘In the Hands of Fishers’ (IHOF) workshop grouping local NGOs and fisher folk from West and Central Africa. The improved Chorkor/Banda-hybrid oven smoke-houses have been experienced and declared by local fish smoking women as clean and superior to traditional ones reducing wood use by 75% and smoking time from 3-4 days for traditional smoke house to 4-8 hours with considerable reduction in health hazards. Participants visited these improved smoke houses and pristine giant Rhizophora dominated mangroves in the Douala-Edea area culminating to the birth of Africa Mangrove Conservation Network of NGOs with the secretariat at Dakar Senegal expressing firm commitments to community based mangrove conservation in the region .

The signature of the platform followed the implementation of the 21 point resolutions taken during the Edea workshop and the rather ambiguous situation surrounding the unsustainable use of mangrove forests in the region with a network of stakeholders with conflicting interests. Resolutions taken by the stakeholders included amongst others: the adoption of the principle of improved smokehouses through the replacement of the traditional banda model by improved Chorkor/Banda-hybrid oven using local materials until the eventual disappearance of traditional banda-based smoke houses; NGOs to continue playing a technical and facilitation role in the acquisition of materials and construction of the improved ovens; organized cut of mangrove wood following a harvest plan to be developed by CWCS in collaboration with forestry services, such a cutting plan will be guided by results from biennial recensus of permanent sample plots established by CWCS in collaboration with the Ministry of Forests in three regimes of wood exploitation: heavily exploited, moderately exploited and zero exploitation to gauge mangrove forest dynamics following human disturbance; more organized and collective collection of government revenue by the different services; the sale of fresh and smoked fish at designated points along the beaches.

A committee with representatives drawn from various stakeholders charged with the implementation of the resolutions of the platform is expected to start work mid December 2004. The committee was put in place under the Prefectorial Order published recently with the District Officer for Mouanko as the chairman. SNV and Novib will continue to support the activities of the committee expected to have a far reaching positive impact on the mangrove ecosystem of the area.

From: cwcs mouanko
cwcsmko@yahoo.fr

ASIA

S.E. ASIA

Thailand

The NATION

PM gets tough with EU over food rules

Published on Nov 24, 2004

The government has launched another attack against the European Union’s stringent food import rules.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shina-watra told reporters yesterday that Thailand will delay buying Airbus aircraft worth more than US$2 billion until the EU eases food import restrictions.

He said he had instructed Thai Airways International (THAI) not to order the aircraft until restrictions are eased on shrimp, poultry and farm products.

“I have made it clear that no contracts are to be signed, only letters of intent can be initialed for the aircraft,” Thaksin said.

“We need clarifications from the EU that it will not mistreat us, agree to be fair to us, and buy more of our farm products. We are also concerned about our current account.”

Ironically, Thaksin’s move came after the Cabinet yesterday approved the purchase of new aircraft for THAI. The cost was to be spread over a five-year period.

In July, THAI said it would spend Bt96.4 billion to expand its fleet with 14 new aircraft between October 2005 and September 2010. Eight of the new aircraft were to be ordered from Airbus and six from Boeing, including six Airbus A380s and two Airbus A340s.

Thailand has made similar threats several times before, following complaints by Thai farmers. But the latest comes just before the EU is to rule whether Thai shrimp will be put back on the generalised system of preferences (GSP) next month.

In addition, imports of Thai fresh chicken have been banned due to the birdflu epidemic. The EU has also threatened to ban heat-treated chicken meat from Thailand.

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Editor’s Note:Pisit Charnsnoh, who is quoted in the article below, is a co-founder and advisor for MAP.

Bangkok Post Nov.20, 2004

Conservation could pave road to peace

TUL PINKAEW

Bringing different faiths together through conservation might be the answer to conflicts in the troubled South, according to a local environmentalist.

Faith and Conservation was the talking point yesterday during the third day of the week-long IUCN World Conservation Congress at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre.

”Environmental conservation can bring the South together,” said Pisit Charnsnoh, founder of the Yadfon Association, a non-governmental group working in poor coastal villages in Trang.

Mr Pisit’s group has been, for some years, working to bring Buddhist and Muslim Thais together with conservation as a tool.

”People living on the Palian river in Trang, for example, are religiously diverse. Upstream it is 80% Buddhist, while downstream it is 90% Muslim. For both to continue to have the resources to maintain a healthy livelihood, they must learn to take care of their surroundings and that’s where we come in,” he said.

Nearly every month, the 40 villages join hands to plant trees and clean up waterways and in this way the two communities develop love, trust and respect for each other, Mr Pisit said.

”Every religion, in its own way, supports conservation and peace. We must harness them into better use,” he said….

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”
mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

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Bangkok Post Nov.30, 2004

TRADE / LOWER EU DUTIES ON THAI SHRIMP

Southern farmers gear up for increased sales

WALAILAK KEERATIPIPATPONG

Surat Thani _ Southern shrimp farmers hope to sell more of their output to the European Union market next year after being informed by a trade envoy of the high possibility that the EU Commission would restore favourable tariff privileges for Thai fishery products.

About 200 shrimp farmers gathered in Surat Thani yesterday to express their concern over trade barriers imposed by Thailand’s major trade partners, including exclusion from the EU’s Generalised System of Preferences and the United States’ anti-dumping penalties on Thai shrimp.

But sentiment improved markedly when Kantathi Suphamongkhon, the Thai Trade Representative, told them the news. Quoting the top envoy of the EU Commission in Brussels, Mr Kantathi confirmed that the commission would restore tariff privileges on Thai shrimp under its new GSP programme. Also, the new programme will take effect sooner, on July 1 next year as opposed to the original date of Jan 1, 2006.

He said the new GSP rate for Thai shrimp would then be on par with the rates charged on the country’s major rivals _ Indonesia, India, Malaysia and Vietnam. Currently, frozen shrimp from the four countries are taxed at 4.2% and processed shrimp 7% while Thai products are taxed at 12% and 20% respectively.

The new rates would make Thai shrimp more competitive, he said.

The new GSP proposal is for the 2006-08 period and needs to be approved by EU member states, the European Parliament and Economic and Social Committee. Brussels will make a final decision in the next two months.

The EU trade envoy also suggested to Thailand that once the country was granted the tariff privileges, it should maintain the amount of its shrimp exports to the EU at no more than 15% of the EU’s total import volume of 700,000 tonnes.

Mr Kantathi said Brussels’ decision to reinstate the GSP for Thai shrimp was partly due to the Thai proposal to exclude tuna exports, which are a big item, from the fishery category.

Somsak Paneetatyasai, the president of the Thai Shrimp Association, said that with new, competitive tariff privileges, the country would be able to increase its shrimp exports to up to 70,000 tonnes to the EU market, accounting for 10% of its total imports annually, from just 5,000 tonnes currently.

Such increased export volumes would translate into head-on shrimp of approximately 140,000-150,000 tonnes.

Mr Somsak said that since the EU “graduated” Thai shrimp from its GSP programme nearly a decade ago, the shipments to the market had contracted dramatically, by 84% from 1995 to 2003.

“This is a strong evidence the Thai shrimp industry had been damaged (by the EU’s graduation) for longer than three consecutive years,” he said

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Bangkok Post Nov.24, 2004

Worries over Phangnga bay exploitation
Unbridled tourism speeding degradation

RANJANA WANGVIPULA

Worries over the degradation of Phangnga bay in southern Thailand is mounting as the government and developers cash in on its coastal beauty.

The area already draws more than a million tourists a year.

”Tourism is still not well-regulated there,” said Marine and Coastal Resources Department chief Maitree Duangsawasdi.

The bay was a topic of discussion at the World Conservation Congress, which concludes tomorrow. Thai delegates presented it as an example of conflict between man and nature.

Encompassing 1,960 square kilometres of the Andaman Sea, the bay is surrounded by three popular tourist provinces _ Phuket, Krabi and Phangnga. It is rich in mangroves and dotted with karst formations. The small islands are a magnet for visitors with one island boasting a seafood restaurant and others offering a beach paradise.

However, the continuing promotion of tourism in the area seems to go against the need for natural resources protection and is a cause of alarm, Mr Maitree said.

A departmental report last year had concluded tourism was expanding without any awareness of the carrying capacity of tourist sites, he said. ”On islands with no garbage disposal facilities all trash has to be transported out and in some cases is just being dropped in the sea.”

Late last year the department cleared more than a tonne of rubbish _ many glass bottles and even an old sofa _ from the waters off Krabi’s famed Phi Phi islands and Maya bay. In September this year, 300kg of garbage was collected in one day from the seabed near Racha island, south of tourist-crowded Phuket.

The problem in the Andaman Sea and the increasing number of tourists visiting Phangnga bay requires the government’s immediate attention before it worsens.

Villagers are keeping an eye on the increasing number of resort projects. On Koh Yao Yai in Phang Nga bay, a wonderful place for swimming, one company is seeking a construction permit for 70 new accommodation units.

The tambon administration organisation (TAO) of Koh Yao Yai has been checking whether the new and existing resorts are equipped with wastewater treatment facilities. There have been no cases of sewage being discharged into the sea, but villagers are aware of the development projects and the potential for adverse impacts often seen in other tourist-crowded areas.

”If the company destroys [our nature], we don’t know what else we can sell to visitors,” said TAO chairman Prayat Srisamut. About 80% of land near the beaches on the island was already owned by resorts.

The wastewater problem currently comes mainly from industry. Many factories do not have treatment facilities. According to the department’s report, some batik factories near the bay simply release wastewater from their dyeing operations into the river and the sea.

Pollution Control Department deputy chief Adisak Thongkaimook said a project was under way to transfer technology to build small wastewater treatment facilities for traditional cloth-dyeing factories, many of which have emerged as a result of the state’s heavily-promoted One Tambon One Product scheme.

Mr Maitree admitted his department had rarely talked with the Tourism Authority of Thailand about ways to promote tourism and protect the environment at the same time. But it was pushing ahead with a request to announce more environmental protection zones in Phangnga bay in the hope of obtaining better natural resources management.

TAT also has its own initiative.

”We are preparing to discuss with provincial officials ways to limit the number of tourists, for fear that too many of them will overwhelm nature,” said Suwalai Pinpradab, head of the TAT Southern Office Region 4.

From: mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

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Mission dugong wins

Published on Nov 4, 2004 Laurie Rosenthal, THE NATION

After two decades of struggle, an NGO finds funds to study the rare sea mammal

When the letter appeared on his desk earlier this year, Pisit Charnsnoh didn‚t understand it. Why was an expensive watch brand writing to an NGO involved in saving the dugong? What possible connection could Rolex have in preserving Thailand’s coastal environment?

It took a few moments for him to realise that after working 20 years to stave off the environmental damage in the Southern province of Trang, he and the little NGO he founded were finally receiving international recognition – a Rolex Award for Enterprise. To top it off, in the 28-year history of the awards, he was the first Thai to receive one.

When he first arrived in Trang in 1985, he had no idea that he would become involved in saving the dugong. Born in Surat Thani and trained as a biologist, he had gone to Trang to study the environment, but what he saw alarmed him.

The mangrove swamps were disappearing. Those micro-environments that act as seawater filters, protectors of small fish and providers of nutrients for the soil and the sea were being uprooted by seaside construction projects and damaged by influxes of shrimp farms and tourists.

Closer investigation revealed a drop in the numbers of marine animals, especially the dugong, or sea cow. Living in family groups of between two and six individuals, these mammals feed off the sea grass in shallow coastal waters, but along with the mangrove swamps, the sea grass was vanishing, and the dugong along with it.

As Pisit studied ways to reduce environmental degradation, he made a discovery – the ecology, the people, the animals and the plants are all inextricably linked.

To help one element, he would have to help the others.

He also realised that he would have to find a focal point that would help highlight the problems and provide direction to solving them. The dugong, he decided, could be the “flagship”. If local people could understand the problems the dugong faces, they could also come to understand the complex problems their environment faced.

In this way, he formed his tiny NGO and called it Yadfon or “raindrop”, and began the painstaking task of finding people who could help. Today, he has only nine people on the staff, but each has been chosen carefully.

Village elders, religious leaders as well as persuasive talkers, these people are all local. They already understand what villagers face.

Yadfon may be small, but through their hard work, 40,000 villagers in Trang and nearby areas now offer support and understanding.

One major problem throughout the years has been funding. People, Pisit soon found out, would sponsor the activities of large NGOs much more readily than tiny, unknown organisations. Slowly he has made contact with embassies, Canadians and Italians mainly, in addition to international NGOs. Money, however, has continued to be a problem. It takes financial force to set up educational programmes, to travel from one village to another, let alone study the dugong.

“There‚s still so much to learn about the sea cow,” he says. “We don’t know what salinity the water should be for it to thrive. We don’t even know what the optimum depth of the water should be. This animal is still very mysterious.”

Yet over the years, he has seen improvements where there was no hope before. “The environment has improved,” he says. The previously ailing and frail mangrove forests are now thriving.

Fishing has also improved as fishermen (“at least the small ones”) have stopped using trawling nets.

Most importantly, “the people now understand the results of destructive practises,” he smiles.

He already knows what he will do with the US$35,000 (Bt1.43 million) that comes with the award. “I will set up a conservation fund to be used to encourage schoolchildren and adults to become involved in research,” he says. He is approaching the government to provide a matching fund.

It is through concerted effort, he emphasises, that the environment will be brought back to its original condition and that the dugong, Yadfon’s flagship, will reveal some of its secrets.

From “MAP / S.E. Asia”
mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

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Indonesia

Editor’s Note: The following article is unclear if the original logging was done by the small-time shrimp farmers or was independently undertaken by other entrepreneurs looking for raw timber products to sell?? In any case, this vividly points out the mess of problems that industrial shrimp farming continues to cause—lack of proper government regulation and enforcement, too many shrimp farms overstepping local capacity, impoverishment threats from diseased or degraded ponds, potential for violent conflict, etc., etc.

Small-Scale Shrimp Farms Blamed For Mangrove Loss?

The big shrimp farms in southern Sumatra are again complaining about small-scale shrimp farmers that build ponds and homes in the mangrove greenbelt that protects the big farms from the ocean.

Agus Ismail from PT Wahyuni Mandira, a big shrimp farm, said some 12,000 hectares of mangrove forests in Ogan Komering Ilir Regency, South Sumatra, have been cleared by squatters in the past few years. This has been done to make way for Shrimp Ponds and homes. He said loggers have been coming into the area since 1999 to clear the mangrove forests.

Now about 80,000 squatters are living in an area that was once mangrove forest. His farm is no longer protected by the mangroves and is directly bordered by small shrimp farms. “As a result, wastes from the small farms infiltrate our canals and spread various kinds of diseases,” said Agus. “We cannot do anything about it because we don’t want to get involved in a clash with them. Until now there has been no effort from the local administration or the police to stop the illegal logging.”

Source: Jakarta Post (English language newspaper, Jakarta, Indonesia). Mangrove forests turned into shrimp ponds and squatter camps. Oyos Saroso H.N. November 27, 2004.

From Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International
Email bob@shrimpnews.com

From: “Andrianna Natsoulas”
anatsoulas@citizen.org

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S. ASIA

Bangladesh

Why Shrimp Farms and Mangroves Don’t Mix

Dear Mangrove Colleagues
I am on behalf of the Sundarban Mangrove Authority requesting my African Mangrove Counterpart to stop shrimp farming by destroying mangrove forests in Africa under the Shell Oil and US AID program. Shrimp farming is good for foreign exchange earning, which could uplift the people’s income but is seriously deleterious for environment and destructive for mangrove forests and plantations if not operated judiciously. In most cases shrimp farming can not run judiciously. Primarily shrimp farming attracts peoples for more money that also tempted Government and other bodies to approve the plan which ultimately give negative impact on the productivity of the land. I can show one example of how mangrove forests and plantations are destroyed by allowing shrimp farming due to faulty Government policy. Bangladesh Forest Department has lost a chunk of 18,000 ha natural mangrove forest in 1990 i.e. the Chokaria Sundarban, a reserve forest under Coxs Bazar Forest Division due to faulty Government policy of allowing shrimp aquaculture that started in 1986. The area is now remaining without vegetation, has tremendous negative impacts on the environmental degradation. As result shrimp production has also lowered now a days. In addition, due to Government weak policy and blind eye on the political parties Forest Department is also losing successful coastal mangrove plantations due to shrimp farming that starts recently in coastal districts of Bangladesh. It is of note that Forest Department start raising mangrove plantation in four coastal districts of Bangladesh since 1966 to create a green belt to protect the coastal lives and properties from natural calamities and to create wood and other resources. A total of 170000 ha mangrove plantation has raised so far but are under threat of shrimp farming. Not only that, the world largest single tract mangrove ecosystem, the Sundarban is surrounded by over hundred thousand acres of agricultural land for shrimp farming. As a result Sundarban surrounding coastal environment becomes very rough, lowering the vegetation cover outside Sundarban and rice production. Peoples are keeping their eyes to extend their target towards Sundarban but due to awareness campaign and Forest Department’s wholehearted efforts, shrimp farming encroachment could not yet successfully enter inside the Sundarban.
So shrimp farming is dangerous for converting mangrove wetland. Shrimp farming is a huge foreign exchange earning sector of Bangladesh, is focal point of environmental issues. So, mangrove colleagues of Africa are requested to develop forum and bodies to raise awareness against extension of shrimp farming by destroying mangrove forests and plantations. Shrimp farming could be limited to vacant coastal lands not in the mangrove forests, which is a favorable habitat for variety of coastal lives. **

**(Editor’s NOTE: MAP does not endorse the placement of shrimp farms in coastal wetlands, period! We believe that mud flats, salt flats and salt marshes are important components of the mangrove ecosystem, and so should not be endorsed as alternate places for shrimp pond placement, as has occurred in Brazil and elsewhere with support from certain misguided NGOs and industry proponents of this mistaken “solution,” which in actuality is perpetrating the serious problems of mangrove ecosystem loss.)

Emdadul Haque
Divisional Forest Officer
Aquatic Resources Division, Sundarban
Khulna-9000
Bangladesh

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Urgent: Seismic survey in block 5 –Sundarbans!

BD minister says Cairn Energy will conduct seismic survey in block 5, in Sundarbans !

Local demand pushes gas export issue back Mosharraf admits hasty deals with IOCs Reaz Ahmad And Rejaul Karim Byron

THE DAILY STAR

Surging domestic demand for gas has defused the pressure to export gas but is compelling the government to strike hasty deals with international oil companies (IOCs), says State Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources AKM Mosharraf Hossain.

To meet the demand, the government recently started buying 25 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) gas from Feni gas field that was developed by Canadian company Niko Resources along with Bapex under a joint venture agreement. But the price has not been fixed yet.

And on November 8, Petrobangla had to sign an agreement with US company Unocal for gas supply from Bibiyana. Under this deal, Unocal can stop gas supplies if Petrobangla fails to pay for the gas in due time.

Both these cases are unusual but the demand hike has forced the government to go ahead with them, the state minister says.

On the brighter side, the pressure for gas export is gone and the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have jointly given assurance of $1.5 billion assistance for preparing a 20-year gas sector strategic plan. “Appointment of a consulting firm for preparing the strategic plan is now at final stage,” Mosharraf disclosed…..

….Cairn would drill five more wells at Sangu and also explore gas at Cox’s Bazar offshore Megnama. Cairn has completed seismic survey in Block 10 and would go for the same in Block 5 soon.

In a rebuttal to criticism against exploring gas from close proximity of the world’s biggest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans, Mosharraf said Block 5 is 25 kilometres away from the Sundarbans and gas exploration from that block has got nothing to do with causing any damages to it and the environment.

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Five Star Mega Tourism Project To Destroy The Largest Mangrove Forest Of The World

By National Fishworkers Forum, India
July 2003

INDIA RESOURCE

One of the largest mangrove forests in the world and a unique tiger habitat, the Sunderbans in West Bengal has been facing serious threats to its ecosystem due to a number of causes which, in near future, are going to be eclipsed by a sinister five star mega tourism project.

Situated at the mouth of the Bay of Bengal in the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta, the Sunderbans covers an area of around 10,000 sq km. Of this, 4,262 sq km is in India and the rest is in Bangladesh. Of the 60 varieties of mangroves and mangrove associates that are found in India, the Sunderbans accounts for 50, many of which are rare. Known for its biodiversity, the region has been identified as a World Heritage Site by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Apart from serving as a shield against natural calamities, it checks atmospheric pollution. It has a great capacity to absorb pollutants from both air and water.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the West Bengal Government and the SAHARA Group of Companies on 30th October 2002 to undertake a five star mega tourism project in the Sundarbans. The Rs 700 crore project will be provided 750 acres of land at Sagar Island, Fraserganj, L-Plot, Kaikhali and other islands of South 24 Parganas. The project has been named ‘Integrated SAHARA Tourism Circuit’ (ISTC). The MoU will be valid for one year. The land will be handed over by the state government to SAHARA by March 2003 “with statutory approvals like marine, environment and forest”. The importance of the MoU can be envisaged by the fact that it was signed in presence of the Chief Minister of the Left Front Government of West Bengal. This is going to be the biggest tourism project in West Bengal.

The project will take off in 2003 and the work will be completed in 2005. Before completion, from 2004, tourists will be taken to certain places. As stated by the interest group “to ‘limit’ the crowd, only 1500 tourists will be catered.”

The project will provide land based accommodations as well as floatels, excursion to interiors through creeks and channels in motorboats. Helipad will also be built inside Sunderbans for ‘emergency evacuation’. A huge area of waterways will be developed. Hovercraft will be used to carry the passengers right from Kolkata.

Two committees have been set up to launch the project – a cabinet sub-committee headed by the Chief Minister for supervision, the other, a high level committee of senior officials headed by the State Chief Secretary for monitoring.

It is a well-known fact that Sunderbans is already endangered. Ever-increasing human settlement has occupied a large space. The enormous pressure of population and their economic activities have destroyed a good amount of the forest with its exotic flora and fauna. A huge number of water transports, using enormous amount of fossil fuel, are disturbing the water life through continuous navigation and oil sippage. Decrease of fresh water inflow is increasing the salinity threatening the biosphere and disturbing the ecological balance. Earlier the city effluents of Kolkata, including the industrial effluents, flew through a large number of water bodies that acted as natural filters. But due to conversion of these water bodies by the real estate developers during recent past, the city effluents are now being more directly received by the Sunderbans. All these have caused gradual destruction of the mangrove forest and the natural food chains. Species of fishes, other water lives and mangroves have disappeared.

Although the Sunderbans has an enormous capacity to absorb industrial effluents and other forms of pollutants, experts feel that if the present situation continues for long, it might affect the ecosystem adversely. Atanu Kumar Raha, Chief Conservator of Forests (south) and Director, Sunderban Biosphere Reserve, told Frontline – a news magazine, that the latest Geographic Information Systems (GIS) report showed that in the past 70 years, 220 sq km of forestland had been submerged. “Even 150 years ago, the Sunderbans was the home of the one-horned Indian rhino, the Javan rhino, wild buffaloes and even river dolphins. All these are now extinct,” Raha said.

At present a large area (beyond the core area) of the Sunderbans is visited by the tourists. No tourist is officially allowed to enter into the core area. Limited facilities are available. Still the forest lovers are attracted and take trouble (although not much) to visit the forest.

But, under the sham guise of ‘eco-tourism’ this mega five star tourism project is set to create havoc. The project, after completion, will take the tourists even inside the core area. The creeks, which still remain undisturbed, will be invaded and that too with motor boats. The hotels and floatels by their sheer existence will disturb the bio-diversity to a great extent let alone the effluents and emissions they will generate. Helicopters will move around to cause further disturbance to the wild life. Increased economic activities will speed up the destruction that has already set in. The whole idea is to make business out of nature. The West Bengal Government is recklessly selling nature to big business.

Sunderbans falls in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Category I, where no construction activity for tourism is permitted. The proposed mega tourism drive is thus illegal in view of the law of the land. It is deplorable that a governmental authority is involved in such an illegal act.

Although the Sunderbans has international importance, the MoU has been signed without consultation with the concerned environmental agencies and/or authorities both at the national and international levels.

The project must be nipped in the bud.

Please send your message of protest to the following Fax Numbers

Thanks

Hare Krishna Debnath
Chairperson
National Fishworkers Forum

1. CHIEF MINISTER OF WEST BENGAL, WRITERS BUILDING, CALCITTA-1, INDIA, Fax Number: (0091 ) 0332351 959
2. PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA, PARLIAMENT HOUSE, NEW DELHI -110 001, INDIA. Fax Number: (R) ( 0091)011 3019334, (OFF.) (0091 ) 011 3016857
3. Kiranmay Nanda, Minister of Fisheries, West Bengal, Fax: (0091) 033-2143929.
4. Sri.M.K. Jiwrajka, Secretary,CEC (IG) Ministry of E&F. Govt. India. Fax Number (0091) 011 4363976
5. T. R. Balu, Minister of Environment and Forest, New Delhi, Fax: (0091) 11-4362222.

From: zakir kibria
banglapraxis@yahoo.com

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3 Dec 2004

Fish production declines in Sundarban

NewAge, December 4, 2004. Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Fish production in Sundarban has declined over the years mainly because of systematic destruction breeding grounds, weak management, netting of fish fry, poisoning of fish and indiscriminate catching.
An official study showed that the per hectare fish production in Sundarban fell to 37 kilograms in the year 2000 from 53 kilograms before 1994.
Local sources said some dishonest fishermen enter Sundarban by taking passes from the forest department and catch galda shrimps using
poison.
Application of poison also destroys different species of fish,the sources added.
Forest department sources informed that the fishes of Sundarban meet two per cent of the total demand of the country.
Different species of fishes age gradually going extinct in this largest mangrove forest in the world. The forest covers a total area 6,017 square kilometres. The water land of the forest constitutes 31 per cent.
There are about 291 species of fish in Sundarban. They include 212 species of fishes, 26 species of shrimps and 13 species of crabs.
Of them, some species of fishes are now endangered and some others species vulnerable, official sources said.
The endangered species of fish are ilisha hangar, pangash, shillong and kata kunener and vulnerable species include bamos, kain magur, kata
chanda, lal chanda and nama chanda.
The forest department officials said that they have already prohibited the entry of fishermen in 18 canals of Sundarban to facilitate uninterrupted breeding of fishes.
The entry of fishermen into Sundarban has been totally banned during the months of May and June. These two months are breeding period of different species of fish.

From: zakir kibria
banglapraxis@yahoo.com

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Future of shrimp cultivation
Harun ar Rashid Daulatpur, Khulna

THE DAILY STAR

It is needless to mention that shrimp cultivation in the southern part of our country plays a vital role in earning foreign exchange and has generated employment for thousands of people. If we consider catching of fish fry (Pona) from natural sources like rivers and sea-shores as the beginning, the whole process ends with export of frozen shrimps to foreign countries.

Still the cultivators in our country are in primitive stage and solely dependent on nature and we often see the news item ‘virus attack’ which may be in an epidemic form that can destroy the whole farming. But if you ask the fisheries department for any help against such ‘virus’, you will seldom get any positive answer and thus a poor cultivator loses everything, leaving behind a huge amount of loan taken from banks, NGO’s or Mahajans. These group of cultivators have no association, no forum, nor can they ask the government for any help to cope with an unexpected situation. The entire government machinery is helping only the factory owners who have got a strong association; they can sit with high officials and ministers, MP’s and so on for their cash subsidy, interest waiver etc. on the plea of incurring heavy losses.

Then what will be the fate of those cultivators who are working at the field level and earning foreign exchange?

From: zakir kibria
banglapraxis@yahoo.com

=================================================

News Item appearing in Local Dailies of Khulna on December 5, 2004.

Bright Prospect for Bangladesh to be recognized in world markets as producer of Organic Shrimp.

Bangladesh can gain recognition as an Organic Shrimp producing country in the world markets by small changes in the present practices of shrimp culture in Bangladesh. Speakers expressed this opinion at a meeting held in the late afternoon on Saturday, December 4 at the office of the Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA) with the Specialist Group of Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) on Organic shrimp cultivation methodologies.
In the meeting held with BFFEA president Kazi Monirul Haque in the Chair and conducted by the organization¡œs Secretary General M Humayun Kabir, the speakers included Project Manager Mr. Thomas, Project Consultant Oliver Muller, and Expert for Organic Shrimp Culture Philippe Serene. High officials of the Department of Fisheries, leaders of Nutan Bazar and East Rupsha Shrimp Traders Association and Sea Food Buying Agents Association were present at the meeting.
SIPPO is an organization of the Swiss government, which wants to extend technical assistance to Bangladesh for developing Organic shrimp cultivation and for marketing the products. This team of specialists has already visited the shrimp growing areas of Kaliganj, Munshiganj, Burigoalinee, Shyamnagar etc. in Satkhira district. On Saturday they also visited several processing plants in East Rupsha. It has been announced that they will sign a MOU with BFFEA on Sunday. It is expected that by exporting organically produced shrimp, Bangladesh will be able to obtain 20% higher than the present price.¨

From: cdp@cdpbd.org

OCEANIA

Australia

Ramsar Site Law Suit Brings Judgement Against Despoilers

Many of you may be interested in the Federal Court of Australia’s judgement in the case of the Minister for the Environment & Heritage v Greentree (No 3) [2004] FCA 1317 concerning the Gwydir Wetlands Ramsar site in New South Wales, Australia. The case shows how appropriate national environmental laws can be used to help conserve Ramsar sites.

Part of this privately owned Ramsar site was cleared and ploughed by its owners.

The judge found that Mr Greentree and (the company) Auen had
contravened the Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation Act by taking action without the required approval that had a significant ecological impact on the Ramsar site. The Windella Ramsar site is an area of about 100 hectares, located wholly within the boundaries of a property known as ‘Windella’ The site is one of four separate wetland areas totalling 823 hectares (the Ramsar Gwydir Wetlands) which were duly designated under the Ramsar Convention on 14 June 1999. The Ramsar Gwydir Wetlands are located about 80 kilometres west of Moree in the north-west of New South Wales.

The judge ordered Mr Greentree and Auen to restore the damaged portion of the Ramsar site and fined them AUD $450,000 (~ USD 360,000).

Details of the case may be read here.

Details of the judgement on penalties can be read here.

From: Jamie Pittock
JPittock@wwf.org.au

LATIN AMERICA

Brazil

CHANNEL NEWS ASIA
Posted: 31 July 2004 0331 hrs

Brazil to take US shrimp tariff to WTO

BRASILIA : Brazil will dispute before the World Trade Organization a US tariff hike on its shrimp, fisheries secretary Jose Fritsch said.

Tariffs of up to 67.8 percent followed a US probe into alleged “dumping” at artificially low prices. The tariffs were announced Thursday, and will come up for a final ruling by the quasi-judicial International Trade Commission at the end of the year.

“We will try to reverse the decision … but if it is confirmed in December, we will go to the WTO,” Fritsch told AFP.

Fritsch called the US hike “protectionist.”

“Brazil has high productivity and low costs,” he said.

“We practically doubled the world production average, to six tonnes per hectare from three tonnes per hectare,” he said.

“There is no ‘dumping’.”
On Thursday, Brazil said it would consider taking the new US tariff to the WTO.

The United States slapped tariffs on shrimp, claiming Brazil, Ecuador, India and Thailand “dumped” the product at artificially low prices.

The Commerce Department said the duties would range up to 67.8 percent for Brazil, 6.08 to 9.35 percent for Ecuador, 3.56 to 27.49 percent for India and 5.56 to 10.25 percent for Thailand.

It was the second action on shrimp in the past month after duties were imposed on shrimp from China and Vietnam.

- AFP

From: mritchie@iatp.orG

==================================

Drop in Exports of Shrimp from Ceara for Trimester

Shrimp exports from Cear? for the three-month period of Aug/Sept/Oct 2004 registered a drop of 43.15% compared to the same period in 2003. Sales totaled US$ 12,570,896, whereas in 2003 exports were US$ 22,111,978. This drop is explained by the appearance of the disease called ãmuscular necrosis,ä which provoked an increase in mortality of farm-raised shrimp. Shrimp ponds were stocked with only 25% of post-larvae, which caused a drop in production. Another factor is the lack of legal status of the shrimp farms with SEMACE (Secretary of Environment for Ceara), which impedes financing from the Northeast Bank of Brazil (BNB), be it for investment or production costs.

Source: Di?rio do Nordeste – Neg˜cios – 29-11-2004

Translated by Elaine Corets

From: “Elaine Corets”
manglar@comcast.net

===============================

Belize

Note: This article can be found HERE.

Legal moves to protect world heritage glaciers and coral reefs from climate change

The impact of climate change on some of the worldâs unique and irreplaceable areas will be highlighted tomorrow as petitions from three developing countries are handed in to the World Heritage Committee in Paris.

The petitions ask the Committee urgently to place the Belize Barrier Reef, the Huarasc?n National Park (Peru) and the Sagarmatha National Park (Nepal) World Heritage Sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger as a result of climate change.

Danger-listing is a legal mechanism under the UNESCO World Heritage Convention requiring an increased level of protection where the best parts of the planet are facing serious and significant threats. State Parties to the Convention have a legal obligation to transmit World Heritage Sites to future generations. [1]

The Belize Barrier Reef was described by Charles Darwin in 1842 as ãthe most remarkable reef in the West Indies,ä but the increase in sea temperatures and atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have already damaged the Reef and will damage it further. The seven sites comprising the World Heritage Site Reef illustrate the evolutionary history of reef development. It is a natural tropical aquarium rich in coral, with sharks, dolphins and tropical fish, and a significant habitat for threatened species, including marine turtles, manatees and the American marine crocodile. The petitioner is the Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy. [3]

Huarasc?n National Park is located in the Cordillera Blanca in the Peruvian Andes, the world’s highest tropical mountain range, with Mount Huasc?ran rising to 6,768 m above sea-level. It is the home of the spectacled bear and the Andean condor. More than 20% of the glacial coverage has been lost in the Peruvian Andes since 1968, and melting glaciers form lakes which could burst if action is not taken. The lead petitioner is Foro Ecol˜gico del Peru. [4]

Sagarmatha National Park is dominated by Mount Everest/Sagarmatha, the highest peak in the world (8,848 m), as well as hosting several rare species, such as the snow leopard and the lesser panda, and being home to the Sherpas, with their unique culture. Himalayan glaciers have been in retreat for decades and a resulting hazard is the formation of many glacial lakes at risk from outburst flood. One study has identified 13 of these lakes in the Park. The lead petitioner is Forum for the Protection of Public Interest (Pro Public), part of Friends of the Earth International. Co-petitioners include record-holding Everest climbers Pemba Dorjee Sherpa and Temba Tsheri Sherpa, as well as Sir David Attenborough, Sir Chris Bonington, Reinhold Messner and Stephen Venables. [5]

As well as calling for remedial measures within each of the World Heritage Sites, these petitions from developing countries also point to the need and legal duty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to transmit World Heritage Sites to future generations. [6]

Candy Gonzalez on behalf of the Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy said:”
“The Belize Barrier Reef, which is the site of seven World Heritage sites is a magnificent feast of sight and color to those fortunate to view the area, stretching from north to south along of the Belize coast. Unfortunately, the reef system is under enormous stress from the changing climate, hurricanes, degradation, uncontrolled development, disease and other degradation. Now, with climate change upon us, is more important than ever to focus our attention on protecting this precious and unique area for future generations.

“Many of us in Belize have worked in various ways to try to keep safe the sites, to protect the reef, and to revitalize the areas that have been badly damaged. But it is very difficult when too many people look only to gain something today with no care as to what is left for the future. That is why we are seeking assistance from the World Heritage Committee so we can better monitor, protect and nurse back to health (where possible), the reef system of Belize.ä

Carlos Soria, Legal Adviser, Foro Ecol˜gico del Per?, said:

“We hold a responsibility to the World. This is a call for immediate attention to the planet’s climate. The melting of the ice glaciers is a loss for humankind. But even worse is the crude reality of the devastating effects at the local level. Peru’s peoples have already paid a high toll in regards to glacier related natural disasters. We demand support for the necessary investment in education, monitoring and prevention measures. We expect the the World Heritage Committee to take the specific recommendations of our petition and implement them….”

From: “BELPO” belpobz@starband.net

==============================

Mexico

Corporate-environmentalist alliance buys sensitive coastland in Mexican nature reserve
By Mark Stevenson

A newly formed international partnership for wetland restoration launched its first environmental protection effort Tuesday, donating US$750,000 (euro585,000) to the purchase of a 1.1-mile (1.8 km) stretch of sensitive beach on Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

The purchase by the International Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, or ICWRP, will help protect the entrance to a coastal lagoon system in Mexico’s Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, an area of marshes, mangrove swamps, coral reefs, beaches and jungle south of Tulum on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.

The purchase, which includes an environmental easement clause to keep the land undeveloped, will help protect the reserve against rapidly expanding tourist resorts, and provide the first stretch of non-private beach in the northern part of the reserve, just a few miles south of the Maya ruins at Tulum.

“The main threat to the area is fishing, and the enormous development of tourism” on the adjoining Riviera Maya, the stretch of coast between Cancun and Tulum, said Marco Lazcano, director of the non-governmental group Amigos de Sian Ka’an, which arranged the purchase.

Contributing to the ICWRP purchase was The Nature Conservancy, which contributed US$400,000 (euro312,000), the Gillette Company, with US$100,000 (euro78,125), and the United Nations Foundation, which kicked in US$250,000 (euro195,310).

“The ICWRP is a remarkable model of how best to bring the expertise and resources of local communities responsible companies and the international conservation community together,” said Michael Madnick, vice president of the UN Foundation. The partnership has no immediate plans for similar purchases, but said it will continue to look for new opportunities for such joint deals.

The reserve is open to low-impact tourism activities like swimming, canoeing and animal watching, in group tours offered by local Maya villages; but only about 40,000 people visit the reserve annually, compared to the millions that flock to the high-rise hotels of Cancun.

Source: Associated Press

From: “Elaine Corets”
Manglar@comcast.net

======================================================

Caribbean

7th December
Bimini Bay Project Still Causing Worries
Tameka Lundy, Bimini Journal

Although the $100 million Bimini Bay development has been revised, there is still nagging anxiety about environmental degradation on an island whose mangroves and unspoilt natural habits conservationists want to protect.

The head butting between the Government of The Bahamas and critics who are concerned about an impending environmental catastrophe is well known.

In a new development, the international activist group Mangrove Action Project [MAP] is petitioning Prime Minister Perry Christie, several other cabinet ministers and officials in the Bahamas Environmental Science and Technology Commission, urging them to halt the destruction caused by an “unsustainable development plan.”

“The whole purpose is to try to protect what’s there, preserve it for the future generations and it’s being tossed away for one person’s short lived plan, and his life will end one day with money in his grave and we will be poor on this planet earth and our children will be angry at us for being so stupid to let these kinds of developments progress,” said Alfredo Quarto, executive director of MAP.

According to Mr. Quarto, his organization is prepared to wage a consistent and sustained campaign against the development underway in Bimini and others like it that are a travesty.

“The whole issue is basically tearing apart a viable and important eco-system that produces huge amounts of benefits for the local people and the local coastal environment and turning that into what’s called a “mega-resort” for one person’s benefit•.We think that unique forms of life will actually be extinguished from this Earth because of these kinds of developments which I think are really short sighted,” Mr. Quarto said.

Earlier this year, the government, in signing a revised heads of agreement with developer Gerado Capo branded the project as economically viable and environmentally sustainable. Phase I of the plan, in which RAV plans to pump $70 million, is now under construction.

It calls for a 410 room luxury hotel to include a small casino, 1,080 condos and 440 single family homes. There will also be an 18 hole Links golf course and a marina designed to accommodate 150 pleasure vessels.

Originally, the agreement had provided for 930 rooms, 3, 200 condos and 611 single family homes.

But what still concerns environmentalists, including those in the MAP and the Bahamas Reef Environment and Educational Foundation [BREEF] is that the island has no room for such a project.

In a letter addressed to the prime minister, MAP pointed out that worst of all the golf course will be built on what is now a mangrove wetland adjacent to North Sound which will be dredged and the sea bottom destroyed.

“The surrounding land will be sacrificed and filled,” the letter said. “In short this development is a disaster waiting to happen. Please take steps now to halt the further loss to this important and beautiful place.”

The warm clear waters of Bimini flow from the Gulf Stream up onto the Great Bahama Bank. These waters have made Bimini a world famous destination for Big Game Fishing, Scuba Diving, and Shark Research.

Bimini has the only mangrove estuary in the northwest Great Bahama Bank and serves as a fish nursery for thousands of square miles of sea bottom.

Dr. Samuel Gruber of the Bimini Biological Field Station has conducted a comprehensive study on the project’s environmental impact, claiming that there was evidence the conditions in North Sound and Bimini lagoon had seriously deteriorated.

The report attributed this deterioration to a massive excavation of the lagoon substrata causing greatly increased sedimentation rates, increase in nutrient levels and possibly release of heavy metals.

He denied that the new heads of agreement that was signed with the Christie administration would allow a substantially scaled down version of the original project.

He argued that the agreement would still allow Mr. Capo to develop property from Bailey Town to North Sound as originally envisioned except that the development itself is only slightly smaller.

“The wetlands must remain in tact and mangroves must not be destroyed and you must not dredge and that has all been rescinded he can dredge and he can take out the mangroves and he can develop a golf course where there is now our wetlands,” he told the Journal.

The people opposed to the scale of the RAV project are backing another plan to make a portion of the island, on which over 1600 people call home, a Marine Protected Site.

The former Free National Movement Government had declared north Bimini one of five such sites that made up a network of reserves throughout The Bahamas.

The plan was said to have five key benefits; to support fisheries and fisheries management, protect the ecosystem structure, enhancement non-extractive human activities such as sightseeing and scuba diving and increase scientific understanding.

The Journal contacted the Ambassador for the Environment Keod Smith but was told that he is out of town as was the Member of Parliament for West End and Bimini and Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe.

=========

Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Bimini Bay project under fire again

By KEVA LIGHTBOURNE, Nassau Guardian Staff Reporter

Almost six months after the government gave its approval to a drastically scaled-back Bimini Bay Development project, an international environmental group wants the enterprise stopped altogether.

After complaints were raised, in particular that the dredging of a channel on North Bimini would adversely affect the livelihood of Bimini businesspersons and other residents, the project was scaled back by as much as 50 percent.

Despite this, however, the Mangrove Action Project, based in Port Angeles, Washington, said the island’s mangroves will be devastated.

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Perry Christie, that appeared in the Monday edition of this newspaper, the Mangrove Action Project (MAP), headed by one Alfredo Quarto called on the government to “take steps to halt the further loss to this important and beautiful place, which will otherwise be further degraded and destroyed by this extremely short-sighted and unsustainable development plan.”

Five-year agreement

In June, the government signed an amended five-year agreement with RAV Bahamas Ltd. headed by Gerardo Capo, for the construction of a 410 room hotel, 1,080 condos and single-family homes, 200 timeshare units, a casino, restaurants, fitness centre, golf course and first class marina and other amenities.

According to Mr Quarto, the golf course will be built on what is now mangrove wetland adjacent to North Sound, which will be dredged and the sea bottom destroyed.

Additionally, he said, “The surrounding land will be scarified and filled. Also there is no adequate plan for disposing of the solid waste or sewage that so many residents will generate and no plan to prevent golf course fertilizer runoff from entering the remaining natural areas.”

The Guardian contacted the lawyer for Mr Capo and the development, Valentine Grimes but was unable to receive a response to the concerns.

However, when the agreement was signed, the 700-acre development was said to be “economically viable and environmentally sustainable,” as it was in keeping with the government’s commitment to protecting the island’s environs and natural resources.

In March, Ambassador for the Environment Keod Smith, hailed the venture as a possible blueprint for other developments in the country.

The first agreement signed in July 1997 by the Free National Movement Government called for the construction of 930 hotel rooms, 3,500 condos and 611 single family homes.

Some residents still against

But that sparked an island-wide controversy, with residents and environmental groups calling for the project to be shelved. They claimed the project caused serious environmental and ecological damage to the island, and fishermen believed that dredging for the project resulted in a serious decline in conch, lobster and crawfish.

On Tuesday during a brief telephone interview North Bimini Chief Councilor Brenda Bullard confirmed that some residents were still in opposition to the project.

The Mangrove Action Project deemed the development a “disaster waiting to happen”.

MAP is dedicated to reversing the degradation of mangrove forest ecosystems worldwide. Its central tenet is to promote the rights of local coastal peoples, including fishers and farmers, in the sustainable management of coastal environs.

From: “William C. Parks”
bertram25@att.net

NORTH AMERICA

USA

Dec. 9, 2004

Too Little is Known About the Health
Consequences of Eating Farm-Raised Shrimp

Public Citizen Cautions Shrimp Lovers to Learn How Shrimp is Produced

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Most of the shrimp that consumers buy and eat in the United States is imported from polluted ponds in tropical countries and may contain chemicals banned from shrimp farming in the United States, according to a new report by Public Citizen. The consumer group urged shrimp lovers to think twice when buying shrimp in the grocery stores, to check the label to see whether it is farm-raised and to ask questions in restaurants about where the shrimp on their menus is produced.

The report, Chemical Cocktail: The Health Impacts of Eating
Farm-Raised Shrimp, is the second in a series that documents the dangers of shrimp aquaculture. It is available as a PDF.

Shrimp aquaculture uses a factory-farming model that douses
shrimp with pesticides, antibiotics and other chemicals. Shrimp is the No. 1 seafood choice in the United States, and nearly 90 percent of it is imported. About 80 percent of the shrimp imported from foreign markets is farm-raised.

“Every time you take a bite of shrimp, you may be ingesting a lot more than you’ve bargained for,” said Andrianna Natsoulas, field director at Public Citizen’s food program. “That shrimp cocktail that looks so appetizing could be a chemical cocktail in disguise.”

Shrimp farms depend on staggering amounts of antibiotics, fungicides, algaecides and pesticides. Over time, bacteria exposed to antibiotics may become more resistant to those antibiotics, and patients infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria will be more difficult to treat.

Unfortunately, while many of the antibiotics used as part of the
factory farming of shrimp are banned in the United States, they are
being used in other shrimp-producing countries, and residues of
U.S.-banned antibiotics have been detected in farmed shrimp and other seafood shipped from Asia to the United States and Europe. Only 1-2 percent of seafood is inspected at the border.

“There’s a reason our government bans certain drugs, and studies have shown that many of the antibiotics found in imported shrimp are dangerous to our health,” said Natsoulas. “It’s time for our government to take action to protect us. We call on the Food and Drug Administration to strengthen its inspection of imported seafood.”

By spring 2005, consumers will be able to make more informed decisions because a mandatory country-of-origin label for seafood will be required by law. This label will tell consumers where shrimp comes from and whether it is farm-raised or wild-caught. This label will apply only to grocery stores, but consumers also should ask restaurants where they buy their shrimp.

From: anatsoulas@citizen.org

===========================================

White House Upholds Tariffs on Shrimp

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Nov. 30, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bush administration on Tuesday upheld the imposition of penalty tariffs on shrimp imports from China and Vietnam, handing a victory to beleaguered U.S. shrimp producers.

The action affirmed with slight modifications a preliminary ruling by the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration last summer. The penalty tariffs have been collected by border agents since July.

The department is scheduled to make a final decision on shrimp imports from four other countries — Brazil, Ecuador, India and Thailand – in late December.

Together, the six countries provide about 75 percent of the shrimp that Americans eat. U.S. food distributors contend that the penalty tariffs will drive up shrimp prices at restaurants and grocery stores.

In the decision Tuesday, the government set duties on Chinese exports of frozen and canned warm-water shrimp at levels ranging from 27.9 percent to 112.8 percent. Vietnamese shrimp exports will be hit with duties ranging from 4.1 percent to 25.8 percent.

The tariffs were imposed because a government investigation found the shrimp from those nations was being sold in the U.S. market at unfairly low prices, a practice known as dumping.

The ruling came in a case brought by the Southern Shrimp Alliance,
which has been dealing with rock-bottom prices for shrimp since 2001. It alleged that the U.S. industry was on the brink of destruction because of the flood of cheap foreign shrimp.

Foreigner shrimp producers, however, have denied that they are selling shrimp at artificially low prices in an effort to capture the U.S. market. They contend that the United States needs foreign imports because the domestic supply is not large enough to meet demand.

Officials from Brazil have said they are studying whether to bring a
case against the United States before the World Trade Organization,
contending that the penalty duties violate international trade rules.

The eight states represented in the Southern Shrimp Alliance are
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas.

The cases against all six countries will go back to the U.S.
International Trade Commission for a final ruling early next year on the issue of whether shrimp imports are harming the domestic industry. If, as expected, the commission upholds its preliminary finding of harm, the antidumping tariffs will become final.

Industrial FishFarming
industrial-fishfarming@iatp.org

posted by anatsoulas@citizen.org

Industrial FishFarming
industrial-fishfarming@iatp.org
posted by mritchie@iatp.org

Business Press, Dec. 2004 Issue

Jumbo idea in Nevada

Dr. Lewis Zettel and Aquatic Investments, are bringing an environmentally-clean shrimp farm to Clark County. And we raise our hats again to the folks at the Nevada Development Authority and the City of Mesquite who have snared this great project.

In case you missed it, Aquatic is putting up $28.5 million to build four shrimp farm factories in Mesquite that are expected to eventually yield 5.5 tons of the crustaceans every day. Those farms will use a closed system that will produce no waste. The farm is a complete eco-system where bacteria recycle waste and eventually it becomes food.

Currently, most of the shrimp that is consumed in the buffets of Las Vegas, and elsewhere in the United States, are grown in Third World countries where less rigorous environmental standards mean they can grow the seafood “more efficiently.”

Despite the million gallons of water that will be required to create these farms, the system will not require large and continuing infusions of water as the current methods do. That has been the efficiency advantage of poorer countries. They use their rivers for the continuing supply of water and that has polluted those rivers.

Efficiency is a wonderful thing and the efficiencies of cheaper labor\ markets have produced a marvel for American consumers. It has not always proved, however, an absolute benefit to poorer countries because they are paying the environmental cost.

One clear lesson from the Aquatic Investments’ story is that our technology can often find better and more productive solutions when circumstances force us to do so. The circumstance here is the World Trade Organization’s rules that make shrimp from Southeast Asia available without tariffs .

Another lesson is that there are plenty of good ideas around in this country that are looking for a place to go into operation. We’re paid to be professional skeptics, but the NDA and Mesquite officials deserve a round of applause for finding a great place for this idea to go into operation.

From: mritchie@iatp.org

STORIES/ISSUES

UNEP Global Sustainable Production and Consumption Seminar meets in Monterrey, Mexico

November 18, 2004 — By UN Environment Programme
MONTERREY, Mexico, 15 November 2004 – Environment Ministers and over 200 senior decision-makers are meeting here on Monday and Tuesday to identify ways and means to address unsustainable production and consumption patterns.
In response to growing poverty, hunger, disease and environmental degradation, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is bringing together key senior decision-makers from government, industry and civil society, from over 60 countries ? to identify new projects and initiatives to shift towards more sustainable patterns. In line with global mandates received from the World Summit on Sustainable Development’s Plan of implementation and the Millennium Development Goals – and leveraging existing efforts where possible – discussions will focus on two basic themes, “Global Challenges and Business” and “Environment and Basic Needs”.
“We governments, business, and civil society – have committed to make change a reality. Our challenges now lie in the speed with which we move ahead. We need to do the job faster because people’s lives and the health of the planet are at stake,” said Klaus Toepfer, UNEP Executive Director. “Let us not forget the goal – the ultimate focus of these efforts is at the poor — those who do not have access to basic services, such as clean water, food, and energy, and who are exposed to health risks due to improper waste management. They need to become consumers. For others, there is the need to consume differently ? with less environmental and social impact on the world. We need to create the ‘space’ for a better quality of life for all.”
The event’s goal is to identify concrete and practical areas of work ? projects, initiatives, partnerships ? that can bring about change at the ground level ? and that can create models for others to adapt, improvise and follow. “The focus has to be on implementation,” Mr. Toepfer continued, “We need to target the rich and middle class consumers, who can be found everywhere ? North and South, and, in particular, the young generation. They need help to lead their lives in a way that uses fewer resources and causes less pollution and social damage. Business has to supply the products and services for that and governments – the incentives.” Latin America is one of the regions where the inequity of incomes is the highest.
The event, hosted by the Mexican Government, wasl opened by His Excellency, Alberto Cárdenas Jiménez, Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), Mexico.
Ministers of Environment from five other countries Argentina, Belize, Nicaragua, Peru and the United Republic of Tanzania – will join in voicing their commitment to bring about change. They will present their visions of more sustainable development patterns with illustrations of the practical initiatives they have undertaken in their countries. Governments in the Latin American and Caribbean region have taken an active lead in implementing the sustainable consumption and production agenda. In 2003, two regional meetings were hosted in Argentina and Nicaragua, respectively and the senior-level government representatives drafted a regional Sustainable Consumption and Production Strategy and created a regional council of substantive experts. The conclusions of these meetings were endorsed by the 14th Meeting of the Ministers of Environment of the region later that year. In 2005, Costa Rica is hosting a 2nd international event on the 10-year Framework of Programmes for Sustainable Consumption and Production.
The 200+ experts coming from more than 60 countries will specifically address water, energy, and sustainable agriculture issues with an eye to targeting consumers, supporting sustainable resource use and developing and applying new models of development…

….UNEP has been active in promoting sustainable consumption and production through its cleaner production and sustainable consumption activities since before the terms took root at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. These concepts have been recognized as the means to reconcile economic growth and environmental protection. Since then, these concepts with the underlying “prevention is better than cure” philosophy have been promoted around the world….

For more information, contact:
Rody Oñate
Information Officer
UN Environment Programme
E-mail: centinf@pnuma.org
website

===================================================

Sea span

HUNDREDS OF NEW OCEAN SPECIES DISCOVERED IN 2004
Marine scientists say they have discovered more than one hundred new species of fish and hundreds more new species of plants and other animals in the past year, raising the number of life forms found in the world’s oceans to about 230,000. Discoveries made public last week included a gold-speckled and red-striped goby fish, found in Guam’s waters, that somehow lives in partnership with a snapping shrimp at its tail. While the goby stands sentinel, the shrimps digs a burrow that both use for shelter. Another surprise for biologists was a colony of rhodoliths, a coral-like marine algae, found in Prince William Sound in Alaska. The hard red plants, which resemble toy jacks, roll like tumbleweeds in the beds used as nurseries by shrimp and scallops.

Leaders of the Census of Marine Life (CoML), now four years into a planned 10-year count, say the rate of discovery shows no sign of slowing, even in European and other heavily studied waters. They expect to find the oceans hold 20,000 species of fish and up to 1.98 million species of animals and plants, many of them small, basic life forms like worms and jellyfish. For a detailed press release by CoML, visit website.
—SOURCE: Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE) Report, week of November 29, 2004

From: Susan Altman
saltman@RSMAS.MIAMI.EDU

====================================================

From: mritchie@iatp.org

New World Conservation Boss Eyes Climate, Oceans

By Ed Stoddard, November 24,2004
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – The newly elected president of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) said Wednesday that global warming and the lack of protected marine zones were key challenges that needed to be hoisted high on
the green agenda.

“Global warming (news – web sites) is the single biggest environmental problem this world faces,” Valli Moosa, a former South African environment minister and anti-apartheid activist, told Reuters.

He was picked as president for a four-year term Wednesday at the IUCN’s third World Conservation Congress in Bangkok.

“Another big challenge we face is to declare protected areas in the oceans and the high seas. Twelve percent of the land surface is under conservation but only 1 percent of the ocean,” Moosa said in a telephone interview from the Thai capital.

“This is an area that will need concerted attention and will be quite a high priority for us.”

Among its members, the Swiss-based IUCN counts 81 countries, 730 national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and 77 international NGOs. Its total external operating income in 2003 was just over 102 million Swiss francs ($87.70 million).

Over 10,000 scientists work on its six commissions and its data bases, assessments and case studies are among the world’s most respected and frequently cited sources of information and reference on environmental issues.

From: mritchie@iatp.org

========================

Global fishing trade takes jobs, food from poor

October 27, 2004, 04:45

Governments must do more to protect their fishermen from being crowded out of the water by industrial fleets that export their catch rather than feed locals and take away jobs, a UN human rights investigator said yesterday.

“Fisheries provide both food and livelihoods, particularly for poor and marginalized communities living in coastal areas, but also inland communities dependent on freshwater fishing or traditional methods of raising fish,” Jean Ziegler, a UN expert on the right to food, said. “In the drive to industrialize, privatize and orient fish production towards exports, poor fishing and fish-farming communities are often left behind.”

Ziegler, appointed by the Geneva-based UN Commission on Human Rights, is scheduled to report his findings to a General Assembly committee today. While developing nations exported $18 billion in fish in 2000 compared to $10 billion in 1990, “it is not clear whether the income gained from these exports is generally benefiting poorer fishing communities, given the simultaneous shift towards the privatization of fishing resources”. The same may be true of fish farming, which takes place mostly in the developing world and could surpass the traditional capture of fish by 2020, he said.

While farming has promoted food security in China, where most operations are small-scale and most of what is produced is consumed locally, this is not the case in nations where the practice is pursued on an industrial scale and export-oriented. Governments should therefore take steps to protect livelihoods and access to food and fishing resources as the industry evolves, Ziegler said.

“Hunger is not inevitable. Nor is it acceptable,” he said. “There is no secret as to how to eradicate hunger, there is no need for new technologies. There is simply the need for political commitment to challenge existing policies that make the rich richer and the poor poorer.” – Reuters

website

From: “Elaine Corets” manglar@comcast.net

======================================================

Greens fear for fisheries in wake of Bush scheme
The Vancouver Province
Thu 02 Dec 2004
Page: A29
Section: News
Byline: Ethan Baron
Source: The Province

A Bush administration plan to gut salmon protection could spell long-term doom for B.C. fisheries, an environmental group says.

The White House proposal would eliminate 80 per cent of “critical habitat” protection for salmon in Washington state, Oregon, Idaho and California.

“It’s quite shocking,” said Bill Wareham, marine program director for the David Suzuki Foundation.

“As we take more and more of these development-oriented actions and eliminate more [salmon] runs, we’re just chipping away at the genetic diversity of the entire Pacific stock. We’re increasing the risk to the long-term viability of salmon stocks.”

The U.S. move is a response to a lawsuit by the country’s National Association of Home Builders, which says the Endangered Species Act protection for salmon imposes unreasonable restrictions on development.

Wareham said losing genetic diversity cuts the chance Pacific salmon will survive the ocean-warming trend.

“In 25 years we may be depending on the genetic stock in Washington [state] and Oregon that can tolerate warmer waters,” he said. “Our fish may have moved up to Alaska.”

Also, if certain runs using U.S. and Canadian waters suffer under the Bush plan, B.C. fishermen could be prohibited under the Pacific Salmon Treaty from catching fish.

A Department of Fisheries and Oceans official said the agency hadn’t seen the plan and wouldn’t comment.

National Association of Home Builders spokesman Mike Mittelholzer said he was encouraged by the Bush administration move.

“It somehow found a way to protect salmon with 80 per cent less habitat affected. We think that’s an example of good government.”

From: Lynn Hunter
hunterlynn@shaw.ca

============================================

Report to UN focuses on role of fish, fishery resources in right to food for all

A report to the United Nations General Assembly by the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the right to food cautions that the ongoing restructuring of fish trade and the fishing industry sometimes has negative effects on the livelihoods and food security of artisanal and subsistence fishers.

In the drive to industrialization, privatization and export orientation, care must be taken to ensure that changes in policies and programmes do not result in the effective exclusion of artisanal and subsistence fishers from their access to fishing grounds, says the report.

It should be ensured that such moves do not result in the transfer of the rights and resources of the poor into the hands of the rich. The right to food means primarily the right to be able to feed oneself with dignity, and therefore requires, inter alia, taking positive action to protect adequate livelihoods, particularly where there are few alternatives. The right to food requires that this right be respected, protected and fulfilled for all people, including marginalized fishing communities, the report adds.

The report notes that this newly emerging issue is important for the right to food in many countries, especially in Asia, but also in Africa and Latin America, where many communities are dependent on fish and fishery resources for their access to food and their livelihoods.

The report expresses shock that hunger is increasing and that “hunger kills many more people than any contemporary war or terrorist attack.”

“One child below the age of 5 dies from hunger-related diseases every five seconds. It is an outrage that we let hunger kill so many small children. The right to food is a human right, inherent in every human being,” the report notes.

4. The right to food is a human right, protected under international human rights and humanitarian law. It has been authoritatively defined in general comment No. 12 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as follows: “The right to adequate food is realized when every man, woman and child, alone or in community with others, has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement” (para. 6). The Special Rapporteur, inspired by the general comment, summarizes the definition of the right to food as:
The right to food is the right to have regular, permanent and unrestricted access, either directly or by means of financial purchases, to quantitatively and qualitatively adequate and sufficient food corresponding to the cultural traditions of the people to which the consumer belongs, and which ensures a physical and mental, individual and collective, fulfilling and dignified life free of fear (E/CN.4/2001/53, para. 14).

Source: UNHCR

From: “Elaine Corets” manglar@comcast.net

===================================================

Massive peat burn is speeding climate change

03 November 04 by Fred Pearce
The recent surge in levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, which made front-page headlines around the world last month, may have been caused in part by smouldering peat bogs in Borneo.

This is the claim of a UK expert on the bogs, who says that further fires will accelerate global warming. “Burning peat could be a major contributor to the as yet unexplained accelerating build-up of CO2 in the atmosphere since 1998,” says Jack Rieley of the University of Nottingham in the UK. His warning comes as peat bogs in Indonesia began burning again last month.

Atmospheric concentrations of CO2, the gas primarily responsible for climate change, have been rising since records began in 1958. The rate of increase has risen from around 0.8 parts per million (ppm) per year in the 1960s to around 1.5 ppm per year in the 1990s.

Since 2000 the pace has accelerated further, with year-on-year rises of 2.1 and 2.5 ppm peaking with an increase of 3.01 ppm in the 12 months ending in August 2003 (New Scientist print edition, 9 October).

There have been surges before. There were increases of 2.2 ppm in 1973, 2.5 ppm in 1987 and 2.9 ppm in 1998. But they have been restricted to single years and all coincided with the climate anomaly El Niˆo. The most recent is puzzling both because of its length and because it occurred in the absence of a strong El Niˆo.

From: “murni”
murni@genet.po.my

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Wastewater Gardens Website Explains Important Technology

www.idepfoundation.org/wwg

An ecological low-cost beautiful solution for effective sewage and wastewater treatment. The system is appropriate for use in communities, businesses, hotels and homes. Wastewater Gardens® have proven to be far more effective, affordable & long lasting than conventional (high tech) sewage treatment, particularly in remote areas and tropical zones.

To date Wastewater Gardens® have been installed in over 150 homes, hotels, businesses and communities worldwide. Including Wastewater Gardens® as part of your home or business is the most economical, ecologically sound way of preventing fresh water contamination in your environment.

• Economical
Wastewater Gardens® systems are less expensive to build than conventional sewage treatment and running costs are dramatically lower (5-10% of ordinary maintenance and operating costs), since little or no machinery is used.
• Ecological
Wastewater Gardens® systems use plants, microbes, sunlight & gravity to transform wastewater into beautiful gardens & reusable water. As solutions for fresh water conservation become increasingly important to our governments and local communities, Wastewater Gardens® are being installed for schools and community treatment systems. Wastewater Gardens® are an excellent way to increase public awareness about economical solutions to resource management that preserve our health and well-being and that of our environment.
• Effective

Wastewater Gardens® systems are capable of extremely high rates of wastewater cleaning. In research over the past several decades, this type of system, even in its earlier design forms, has a well-documented track record of consistently cleaning water to levels better than municipal standards for wastewater treatment.

The technology has been reviewed by the U.S. EPA & European Health authorities, and meets their wastewater treatment standards. The design uses only one fifth the area of open surface wetlands & its high biodiversity raises constructed wetlands to a complete ecological system.

©2004 Wastewater Gardens® PCRF • www.pcrf.org • Indonesia Rep. Yayasan IDEP : www.idepfoundation.org

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS

Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Course Feb 28-Mar 18, 2005

The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction is pleased to announce to you the International Course on Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation to be held on February 28 – March 18, 2005 at the YC James Yen Center, Silang, Cavite, Philippines. We would appreciate if you could circulate this announcement to your colleagues and network who might find this course useful in their work.

Why participatory monitoring & evaluation

There is a growing global appreciation and understanding of participation as a critical element in development.ÊÊ Participatory monitoring and evaluation (PM&E) draws from over 20 years of experiences in participatory research and participatory development approaches.ÊÊ PM&E departs from a top-down developmental approach and is an essential part of the broader participatory development paradigm.Ê Its implementation requires capacity building at different levels within and across organizations, institutions, projects and communities, openness and flexibility, collective learning and mutual sharing among stakeholders.

PM&E is an evolving field.Ê While enough is known to guide practitioners, there are a lot of elements that remain to be discovered, practical and conceptual issues that need to be addressed, and implementation challenges that have to be overcome.Ê These make PM&E an exciting area of study as well as a challenging and powerful tool in development work.
What is the course content

This course is intended to broaden participants’ understanding of PM&E as a support to program/project management at different levels and as a tool for strengthening participation, enhancing local capacity, and increasing local people’s confidence and control over development decisions and processes.Ê The course examines PM&E concepts and principles, as well as methods, tools and techniques, which have been tested and used in the field.Ê Drawing from a range of significant experiences, the course also highlights key elements that enrich the application and maintenance of PM&E system.

For more information and to receive an application form, contact:

PME Course Coordinator
Education and Training Program
International Institute of Rural Reconstruction

Y.C. James Yen Center
Silang, Cavite 4118, Philippines
Email: education&training@iirr.org
Website: www.iirr.org

From: “Monette Pacia”
monette.Pacia@iirr.org

=============================================

New Book “A Stain Upon The Sea” Blasts the Salmon Aquaculture Industry

Note: You can order a copy of “A Stain Upon the Sea” via Friends
of Clayoquot Sound: www.focs.ca

Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 3rd December
In the Northwest: Canada’s fish-farm boom is a blow to wild salmon
By JOEL CONNELLY
joelconnelly@seattlepi.com

….Where do farmed salmon come from? Not our ocean: Atlantic salmon are used to stock 70 percent of the pens in British Columbia.
Who gets fed by these floating farms? “The States,” of course: Nearly 90 percent of production goes to the U.S. market. One more statistic sends chills down the spines of fishermen, outdoors groups and conservationists: The commercial catch of wild salmon in British
Columbia has declined by 80 percent over the last two decades.
Sport fishing in famous angling streams has dropped as well. “The Cowichan River (on eastern Vancouver Island) is simply a ruin of what it once was,” said Stephen Hume, a Vancouver (B.C.) Sun columnist. Critics fear a connection between the rise of farmed Atlantic salmon and the fall of wild Pacific stocks.

They see wild salmon as a 21st-century equivalent of the buffalo, living in a sea that is being fenced off. A new book, “A Stain Upon the Sea: West Coast Salmon Farming” (Harbour Publishing), makes the critics’ case One of its authors, Otto Langer, spent 32 years as a biologist with Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He argues that the department is forgetting its legal job is to preserve wild fish.

“You have the promoters of aquaculture and the protectors of the wild runs reporting to the same bureaucrat.” What galvanized opponents was the sudden disappearance of more than 3
million adult migrating fish — primarily pink salmon — which were supposed to sweep in off the Pacific in 2002 to spawn in Knight Inlet and Kingcome Inlet (site of the novel “I Heard the Owl Call My Name”). En route to the ocean as fry, the young salmon had passed by the Broughton Archipelago, site of intensive fish farming.
A whale researcher, Alexandra Morton, began examining the effect of tiny parasite sea lice — an unwanted byproduct of pens — on salmon fry. She shares findings in the new book:

“Everywhere I went near the farms, the fish were covered with sea lice when I took them out of the water. Coho salmon smelts were so frantic to escape the sea lice that they were jumping into boats. I noticed bleeding at their eyeballs and bleeding at the base of the fins, which are classic symptoms of fish disease.” In a scathing investigative report, CBC News took the Federal Fisheries
Ministry to task for its lethargic response to Morton’s findings and
ill-concealed attempts to intimidate and discredit an eloquent critic.
The Pacific Fisheries Resource Conservation Council — headed by
ex-Fisheries Minister John Fraser — proved it was made of sterner stuff. It found evidence that sea lice likely caused the mortality of salmon smolts and collapse of pink salmon runs in six rivers…..

From: “Don Staniford”
don@focs.ca

=============================================

AQUACULTURE CORNER

Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform

The following are the goals of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform ( CAAR) from our website.

Some Criteria For Fish Farming

Develop technology that eliminates the risk of disease transfer to wild fish and escapes of farmed salmon into the wild;
Guarantee fish farm waste is not released into the ocean;
Label all farmed fish so consumers can make informed choices;
Develop fish feed that does not deplete global fish stocks;
Ensure that wildlife is not harmed as a result of fish farming;
Prohibit the use of genetically modified fish;
Eliminate the use of antibiotics, biocides and harmful chemicals in fish farming;
Ensure contaminants in farmed fish do not exceed safe levels;
Respect the views of coastal residents by not locating farms where First Nations or other local communities object.

from Lynn Hunter
hunterlynn@shaw.ca
of the David Suzuki Foundation in BC, Canada)

The MAP News, 147th Ed., 22 Nov 2004

Dear Friends,

This is the 147th Edition of the Mangrove Action Project News. Please consider the following rather urgent request from MAP:

2nd Announcement: MAP SEEKS TO MATCH A $5000 GRANT

Dear MAP Supporters,,

You can help MAP match a $5,000 grant from two long time supporters. If you donate now to MAP the value of your contribution will be matched till we reach our goal of $10,000!

Your generous support for our 2004 Matching Fund, will among other things allow Mangrove Action Project to launch our Migratory Bird Flyway Protection Campaign to halt destruction of important migratory stopover sites in the mangrove wetlands found along their long migratory routes where they must feed and rest before continuing on. Without these key stopover sites, millions of migrating waders, shorebirds, waterfowl and land birds will be endangered, and whole migrations could be disrupted and entire species extinguished in a short time.

Please give to MAP today, earmarking your contribution to Protect The Mangrove Flyways!

Additional Note: Our 2005 Children’s Art Calendars are now available; these make great gifts for the new year! Please order your calendars now, and support MAP’s important efforts!

For the Mangroves!

Alfredo Quarto,
Mangrove Action Project

Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.
Contents for MAP NEWS, 147th Edition, 22 November 2004

FEATURE STORY
An Open Letter on Certification of Farmed Shrimps

MAP WORKS
MAP’s Children’s Mangrove Art Calendars for 2005 Now Available!!!
Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop
MAP Seeking Professional Development Coordinator
MAP Launches Program To Protect Migratory Bird Flyway Routes
MAP Volunteer Work Study Tour for Mexico’s Yucatan in January
MAP Eco-Study Tours In Thailand

AFRICA
NIGER DELTA GROUP BATTLES SHELL, USAID OVER INDUSTRIAL SHRIMP FARMING
Crude oil spillages are a regular occurrence in the Niger Delta

ASIA
S.E. ASIA
Thailand
Shrimp tariff cuts in US, EU markets may yield Bt100 bn
ENVIRONMENT / MANGROVE Reforestation; Balance between human needs, nature sought
CONSERVATION/ IRRAWADY DOLPHINS
Seafood Bank `serious threat to ecosystem’
Seafood Bank project a ‘non-starter’
Seafood bank is an investment in calamity

Vietnam
Jumbo Brawl As Shrimp Industry Thrives in Vietnam,Trade Fight Looms

Papua New Guinea
JPapua New Guinea – A Mega-diversity Hot Spot

S. ASIA
India
Bhopal Gas Tragedy Dec. 2-3, 1984

Bangladesh
Many back to shrimp farms in Satkhira

LATIN AMERICA
Ecuador
The cutting of mangroves continues in El Oro

Venezuela
Mangrove Restoration Experiment Underway in Margarita Island,

NORTH AMERICA
USA
New Report Shows How Shrimp Aquaculture Affects Environment and Communities
New fish-labeling law proving controversial
Shrimp row spreads to soybeans

STORIES/ISSUES
On Human Rights & the Right to Food
The Impact of Trawling on Small-scale Coastal Fishing Communities
Global Fishing Trade Takes Jobs and Food From Poor, Says U.N.
Greenland Ice Sheet “Likely To Be Eliminated” By Climate Change
Amphibian Extinctions Sound Global Eco-Alarm –Study
World Living Beyond Its Environmental Means

ANNOUNCEMNETS
World Fisheries Day, Nov. 21st!
Feb. 2nd, 2005 International Wetlands Day
WWF Prince Bernhard Scholarships for Nature Conservation, Year 2005
CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS
New Popular Children’s Book On Mangroves Launched

AQUACULTURE CORNER
Non-Native Farmed Carp Escapes, Causes Worry
Organic Farmed Aquaculture Label Questioned
Oil Spills Into US Political Waters
SALMON SHIPMENT CONTAMINATED WITH MALACHITE GREEN WAS DESTROYED BY CHILEAN
AUTHORITIES

FEATURE STORY
Editor’s Note to this List:
While it seems a reasonable and interesting pursuit in drawing up and determining criteria or guidelines to more effectively regulate and run the industrial aquaculture industries, it is imperative that in our zeal to come up with solutions that we do not lose sight of the more complex social and environmental issues. A mere cook book recipe, with rudimentary references to social and environmental factors of deeper complexity will only produce further disasters, not ameliorate past grievances. While agreeing with some of the concepts presented below towards establishing certain limited guidelines for better practices, it is obvious that these are not sufficient to justify further expansion of the shrimp aquaculture industry. For these reasons, MAP reiterates past coalition calls for a complete moratorium on further expansion of shrimp aquaculture. Present schemes of certification of shrimp are inadequate, premature, and potentially harmful to the cause of sustainability. Meanwhile, further studies of overall benefit and loss—particularly, who benefits and who loses– need to be undertaken, and further involvement and influence of indigenous and local communities must more assuredly permeate the makeup of such further analyses.
====

An Open Letter on Certification of Farmed Shrimps to Certification Groups
and the NGO community.

By Drs. Yara Schaeffer-Novelli & Gilberto Cintron
Rising concern over intensive food production has resulted in an increased demand for “organic’ alternatives. Certification has the potential to promote sustainable production systems. Eco-labeling generally has a very good reputation among consumers who actively seek and pay premium prices
for certified products. Ecolabeling encourages the demand and supply of environmentally friendly products and services but the proliferation of schemes and certifying criteria is already causing confusion among consumers. A credible certification framework must guarantee high environmental and social standards and that the establishment of a certification system means that those involved in the process, such as Naturland and others, as well as NGO’s acting as third party inspectors or providing endorsements, take on far-reaching ethical responsibilities.

Labeling of products or producers that proves to be incorrect or dishonest can lead to reduced credibility of certified products in general among consumers. This would affect not only certifying organizations, but
producers that are doing their best to deliver an environmentally friendly product. We are concerned that current farmed shrimp certifications now suffer from low credibility due to weak ecological foundations.

Specifically we are concerned that shrimp produced on intertidal lands, where serious environmental and social problems are created are being inaccurately certified as products of sustainable production practices. In particular we are concerned that the ecological value of salt flats remains
unrecognized by certification organizations and even many in the NGO community. Salt flats are referred to as salt barrens, salt flats, salinas, salitrales, sabkhas, sebkhas, and by various local names such as apicums and albinas, tannes, among many. They are integral parts of complex ocean margin environments that are highly productive and are closely linked to nearshore fisheries that sustain local and artesanal as well as industrial nearshore fisheries including the offshore shrimp fishery.

These vital coastal systems provide a sustained stream of goods and services. Salt flats, saline plains, mudflats and mangroves are part of a convergence zone where very active ecological processes take place. They are highly productive systems whose productivity contributes significantly to estuarine food webs through photosynthesis and secondary production. In fact these systems are unique in that some of the microbial components are capable of utilizing sunlight as well as the potential energy in the
various reduced compounds that are abundant there. Photosynthesis takes place in the upper layers and in the deeper layers bacteria conduct chemosynthesis. The productivity of these areas is reflected in the way they sustain local fisheries and further reflected by the fact that they are exploited by a large number of invertebrates such as small and large crustaceans, bivalves and polychaete worms. Shorebird species, some of which aggregate in large numbers, exploit the rich fauna of invertebrates.
In fact, tidal flats and salt flats are important elements of many migratory routes, such as the Australasian Flyway, the West Pacific Flyway, the Central Asian-Indian Flyway, the African-Eurasian Migratory Flyway, and the Atlantic and Pacific Flyways. Some of these migratory flyways are now
imperiled by broad scale conversion of salt flats to shrimp farms.
Shorebird populations on a global scale are decreasing, and long-distance bird migrations are becoming an increasingly threatened ecological phenomena as shorebird population become depleted because of coastal habitat conversion.

Because intertidal areas are such highly important features of the coastal environment, conversion to shrimp farms cannot be considered part of a certifiable sustainable activity. Sustainable development, according to FAO is Development that “conserves land,water,plant and genetic resources, is
environmentally non-degrading,technically appropriate,economically viable and socially acceptable”.

Can shrimps be farmed in a sustainable manner? We believe that sustainable shrimp aquaculture should be possible if sited away from intertidal zone in non-tidal upland terrain, and if adequate measures are taken to process wastewater and wastes. Aquaculture must be integrated within the coastal landscape to promote sustainability of the industry as well as to conserve landscape-level ecological processes. Preservation of the natural resource base is the cardinal objective of sustainable development. In addition, it is quite possible that appropriate siting and operational measures can benefit the industry as well by reducing economic losses caused by disease.

Offsetting the industry away from intertidal lands addresses a number of social concerns by substantially reducing conflicts with local communities that make customary use of tidal lands. Such offsets lessen conflicts over water and land resources with other users, particularly those created by misappropriation of tidal lands, a controversial issue where legal systems have left the way open for alienation of these areas for private agriculture or aquaculture in spite of local laws and regulations.
Ecolabels can provide a product with a competitive edge but consumers must understand and trust the label. The criteria of offset from intertidal areas provides an ecologically sound criteria that addresses key environmental and social concerns and provides for a standard than can have universal applicability among the various certification frameworks.

“Dr. YaraSchaeffer-Novelli”
novelliy@usp.br
MAP WORKS
MAP’s Children’s Mangrove Art Calendars for 2005 Now Available!!!

MAP’s new Children’s Mangrove Art 2005 Calendars are now available. In addition to these beautiful calendars, we are selling packets of 5 beautiful greeting cards containing several mangrove images from Monica Gutierrez-Quarto’s artwork. to raise funds for MAP.

We are now requesting your help in selling both the calendars and card sets for MAP. If interested, please let us know how many calendars and card sets you will need.

Note: The following costs are based upon the numbers of calendars ordered:

The Calendars
1-49 Calendars @ $12 per calendar including postage in the US, $14 for outside the US
50-99 @ $10 per calendar including postage $12 outside the US
100 or more at $8 per calendar including postage, $10 outside the US

The Card Sets
Each packet of 5 cards is being sold by MAP for $10. including postage.

The calendars and card sets are beautiful items, and will make wonderful gifts for friends and family, as well as provide needed funding support for MAP at this critical time! Any donation of $35 or more qualifies the donor for an annual membership with a free calendar or card set! Please give generously today!

PLEASE help MAP stay in this fight for the future by becoming a donating subscriber today! Contact: mangroveap@olympus.net

======================================

ANNOUNCEMENT: Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop

The third “Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop will be held at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, in Hollywood, Florida, USA, 21-24 February 2005. The training site is within a 500 ha mangrove restoration project at West Lake Park operated by Broward County. The award-winning project was designed by Roy R. “Robin” Lewis III, who will be teaching the course.

The workshop includes an introduction to mangrove forest ecology, management options and problems, and restoration design issues. The class programs are all given in a PowerPoint format, and each student is provided with a print out of the presentation and additional handouts including monitoring reports for typical restoration projects. Case studies of 5 successful mangrove restoration projects, and several unsuccessful projects, are discussed. Field trips are taken within the 500 ha West Lake Park mangrove restoration project (now 16 years old) and a new project just two years old, for a comparison.

The emphasis is on cost-effective successful mangrove management and restoration, and cost figures for typical projects are discussed and explained. The hydrologic restoration of mangroves is emphasized as the best approach to successful restoration at minimal cost (see Erftemeijer and Lewis 2000, Lewis 1999, 2000a, 2000b, Lewis and Marshall 1998, Lewis and Streever 2000, Stevenson et. al 1999, and Turner and Lewis 1997, for further discussion about hydrologic restoration of mangroves). Planting of mangroves is discussed in light of the many failures of this alone to successfully restore mangroves.

Cost for the course not including travel to Ft. Lauderdale, lodging or food is $650, due by January 1, 2005. Two qualified students are being allowed to attend for free, but these two slots are now filled for the 2005 course. This course is taught in conjunction with the Mangrove Action Project.

More information can be provided by Robin Lewis at
LESRRL3@AOL.COM
and
www.mangroverestoration.com.

================================

MAP Seeking Professional Development Coordinator

Mangrove Action Project is now seeking to fill an important new position within our staff for an experienced and dynamic Development Coordinator. This person will be responsible for fundraising and implementing a comprehensive development and public relations program for MAP. Previous related work with non-profits is required, as are strong communication and organizational skills and experience in fundraising, including grant writing, membership drives and organizing public events.

For more details, please write MAP at mangroveap@olympus.net,
or call at 360-452-5866

=============================================

MAP Launches Program To Protect Migratory Bird Flyway Routes

Mangrove Action Project has recently launched a new campaign that aims to address the serious issues affecting migratory bird flyways, especially focusing on important stopover sites where birds feed and rest in the mangrove wetlands. These stopover sites are essential in ensuring these many diverse species of migratory birds survive their long, arduous flights between, for example, North and South America, or between Africa and Eutrope, as well as within greater Asia.

We at MAP are quite concerned that the rapidly expanding shrimp farming industry is destroying large swathes of coastal wetlands, including the mangrove forests, the mudflats and salt flats–all of which are important parts of the mangrove ecosystem. Literally, millions of migratory birds– from waders and land birds, to water fowl and shorebirds– are dependent upon these migratory flyways and those associated key stopover sites for their refueling and rest stops necessary to complete their thousands of miles journeys. If these sites are ruined or developed, then these myriad species of birds may be endangered.

Dr. Gilberto Cintron of the US Fish and Wildlife, International Division has strongly cautioned that if this trend continues, whole species of migratory birds could disappear overnight, because their traditional rest stops are being lost to unsustainable developments. Shrimp farming along the coast of Brazil is of special concern, because it has taken off like a wildfire along Brazil’s extensive coastline. Little control or enforceable regulation exist there. The shrimp industry is also expanding at an accelerating rate in Venezuela and other parts of Latin America, Asia and Africa, affecting in the process countless migratory bird sites–perhaps irreversibly damaging these sites and endangering many bird species.

MAP’s campaign will involve other NGOs and local communities from around the world interested in protecting migratory birds. An active international coalition is now being formed to address these issues. If you are interested in helping to support this campaign, please contact MAP at mangroveap@olympus.net. Your help and generous support are needed!

==========================================

Work-Study Tours In the Mangroves

MAP Volunteer Work Study Tour for Mexico’s Yucatan in January

A mangrove-restoration and sea turtle conservation project on the Caribbean coast of Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico has been postponed from its original October 2nd date to early next year. The revised tour dates are from Jan. 8-18, 2005. This tour will help restore degraded mangroves and help rescue or care for threatened baby sea turtles, as well as explore the unique cenote (undersea cave systems) and extensive reef ecosystems of the region, as well as visit the nearby Mayan ruins and beautiful beaches. Please join MAP and local volunteers from the surrounding communities in undertaking important beach cleanup and restoration work in a paradise-like setting now threatened by short-sighted development. There will also be a workshop that deals with important and timely ecological and social justice issues.

MAP will be co-sponsoring this tour with the local NGO, SAVE, in Mexico. The tour will be limited to ten to twelve volunteers, so please register early to assure your place on what should be a very interesting experience!

For more information, please contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net

—————————————————–

MAP Eco-Study Tours In Thailand

MANGROVE ACTION PROJECT’S
SPIRIT OF THAILAND COASTAL RESOURCES PROGRAM

AN EXPERIENTIAL STUDY OF THAILAND’S COASTAL RESOURCES
AND THE PEOPLE WHO DEPEND ON THEM
A new two-week experiential ecology program will provide an opportunity to experience first hand and learn about Thailand’s mangrove forests and other critical, often threatened coastal wetlands. A group of up to 16 people will be guided by Dr. Lamar Robert, a long term resident of Thailand with many years of experience leading groups in experiential learning. Your adventure begins with a tour of the canals of Bangkok, the capital city, in the past referred to as the Venice of the East, before visiting the Wildlife Fund of Thailand, the national WWF affiliate.

From Bangkok you travel to Thailand’s first coastal national park, Khao Sam Roi Yot (The Mountain with 300 Peaks) Marine National Park, on the Gulf of Thailand to observe marine and freshwater wetlands of international importance as well as see beautiful beaches. Learn about the environmental and social impacts of prawn farming. The park also offers a good opportunity to view Water Birds, Dusky Languor and Water Monitor Lizards.

By overnight sleeper train you continue south to Trang Province on the Andaman Sea. Here you will meet with representatives of two different types of NGOs: the international organization, Mangrove Action Project (MAP), and the grass-roots NGO Yadfon Association; Both which are working in different ways to protect Thailand’s coastal resources while improving the lives of the local people who depend on coastal resources for their livelihood.

From Trang you travel by bus to the island province of Phuket, the historical center of maritime activities in ancient Thailand. Here you will visit the aquarium of the Phuket Marine Biological Center and learn about the endangered “Dugong” a close relative of the Manatee and the importance of seagrass from a Thai marine biologist.

For the trip highlight you will spend three days on an island located in famous Phang Nga Bay, populated by traditional fisherfolk. You will actually live in the villages with the local people as you learn about their ways of life and their activities to conserve coastal resources on which their livelihood intrinsically depends. The program ends with a convenient departure from Phuket’s International Airport or you may choose to travel on independently.

Following the MAP program a special optional trip will be offered for those interested in an amazing adventure. This Eco-tourism trip in Phang Nga Bay offers an outstanding opportunity to experience caves and mangroves from the viewing platform of a sea kayak. The award winning John Gray SeaCanoe will make arrangements. www.johngray-seacanoe.com/

Program Dates: Feb.14-27, 2005
Fee not including airfare or food: $800/person
For more information contact: Dr. Lamar Robert lamar@thailand.com

(If you’re not interest in this study-tour please pass this flyer on to someone who might be or post it at your work place or school. THANKS

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”
mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

AFRICA
Nigeria

NIGER DELTA GROUP BATTLES SHELL, USAID OVER INDUSTRIAL SHRIMP FARMING

The Conservation Programme of the Niger Delta Project for Environment, Human Rights and Development (NDPEHRD), a rural-based, rural-focused group working in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria has decried the plans by Shell and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to commence industrial Shrimp farming in Rivers State in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, in spite of outcry and protestations against the project.

According to the environmental non-governmental Organization (ENGO), she is in the possession of a letter dated November 11, 2004 and addressed to Mr. S. Langeveld, Director of BothEnds, an Amsterdam, Netherlands-based organization. The document which is signed by Basil E. Omiyi, Managing Director of Shell, entitled, USAID/Shell Aquaculture Project states inter-alia, “The Shrimp (in salt/brackish water dwelling) as well as the prawn (in fresh water dwelling) culture project is one of the aquaculture programmes in our Global Development Alliance with USAID/Shell – Nigeria”.

The Shell/USAID letter which was ostensibly, a reply to letter earlier written to them by the Dutch International environmental non-profit organization on the project, the letter revealed “preliminary planning discussions are on-going to conduct a pilot feasibility study for salt water and plain/fresh-water Shrimp and Prawn production in the Niger Delta. This exercise will be conducted by independent impact experts prior to programme implementation in compliance with Shell’s policy that no project is commenced before an integrated Environmental, Social Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) is carried out and independently verified in accordance with international recognized best practice”.

“While existing literature and past lessons indicate that mangrove areas are not ecologically suitable for commercial shrimps/prawn production, an increasing body of experts and organizations (including the FAO) have established through pilot research and initiatives that shrimp can be cultured and produced in salt-water plains. This is in the context of an evolving policy of ‘responsible aquaculture’ which is being promoted internationally, especially by the FAO”. Omiyi also stated in his letter to Both Ends.

Shell and its partner, USAID have collaborated a whooping sum of US $20million for the establishment of Shrimp Farm in the Niger Delta, dubbed a “Sustainable Development” project. NDPEHRD argues that the shrimp farming project as it is presently conceived will not better the lives of the peoples of the delta languishing in poverty caused by oil and gas extraction. The major objective of the Shell/USAID Industrial Farming Project is to boast Nigeria’s Shrimp export.

We are worried that the Niger Delta’s mangroves have been targeted by the USAID/Shell Project in spite of their claims about “responsible aquaculture”. Indeed, there is a widespread acknowledgement (even among Shrimp farmers elsewhere) that industrial aquaculture operation on mangrove lands is inherently unsustainable. There exist the inevitable application and infractions that are not friendly with the environment and generally the livelihood source of the local people. These problems are appendages of the holistic decimation of the mangrove forests as multi-resources based eco-systems.

NDPEHRD is aware of the negative consequences and attendant dislocation of the lives and environment of the rural peoples of Bangladesh, Indonesia, Brazil, Peru, etc caused by industrial Shrimp farming. As the duo of USAID and Shell continue their plans to carry out the Industrial Shrimp Farming Project irrespective of outcry and protestations against it, we join thousands of concerned people and groups in the Niger Delta, Nigeria and the wider world to voice our protest against this destructive project and calls for its immediate discontinuity by its exponents and proponents, such project is not needed.

Join NDPEHRD’s campaigns against the project now.

Issued by;

From Zabbey, Nenibarini, Head, Conservation Programme
Niger Delta Project for Environment, Human Rights and Development (NDPEHRD)
nigerdeltaproject@yahoo.com

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1. INTRODUCTION

Crude oil spillages are a regular occurrence in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria where over 80% of the country’s crude oil is produced. Sources of crude oil pollution include drilling and production operations, pipelines, manifolds, hoses, oil tankers, barges, oil terminals and depots (Odiete, 1999)1. Dublin-Green et al, (1998)2 reported that from 1979 – 1997, the Nigerian Petroleum industry suffered 5334 cases of oil spillage resulting in the discharge of 2.8 million barrels of oil into the land, swamps, estuaries and coastal waters. However, some incidents of oil spillage in the Niger Delta are oftentimes not reported or perhaps, rated minor without post-spill remediation measures.

Ogoni, located in the south-eastern part of the lower Niger Delta is endowed with abundant natural resources including oil and gas. While oil was first struck in commercial quantities at Oloibiri, Bayelsa State, 1956, Bomu (an Ogoni town) was the second point of commercial oil discovery (1958) in the annals of Nigeria’s petroleum industry. Ogoni thus plays host to five flow stations and 96 oil wells. Despite the suspension of oil exploration and exploitation activities in Ogoni since 1993, the area is yet to be spared from oil spillages. Oil pipelines criss-cross Ogoni landscape some of which are trans-Niger trunk lines that transport oil to shipment terminal in Bonny Island.

On August 25, 2003 some littoral Ogoni communities in Gokana Local Government area experienced tremendous oil spillage for no less than a week. Barely one year and a month later, these same areas suffered another crude oil pollution (spillage) which is highly devastating in scope.

On the 11th October, 2004, oil spilled at an Ogoni town called Mogho. Mogho is one of the seventeen towns in the Gokana Kingdom of Ogoni (administratively located in the Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State). Lying approximately on latitude 4039’11” N and latitude 7017’15” E, Mogho is situated on the coastal lowland of the Niger Delta, South-East of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, and about ten nautical (or sea) miles off the Bonny River (Vikoo, 2003)3.

On the above mentioned day, at “Saanako” swamp in Mogho, along Shell’s 24 inches Trans-Niger Pipeline4, a major leakage occurred which resulted in the spewing of quantum volume of crude oil, yet to be quantified, into the swampy environment. The oil gushed out steadily for over 24 hours before stoppage. The affected spill locality being a wetland (tropical swamp) has a fresh water stream which drains waters from upland and flows unidirectionally downstream before it discharges into an estuarine mangrove sheltered environment at a neighbouring community called Goi. Thus, the spilled oil which covered the surface of the swamp water flows along gradient and steadily, emptying into the denser brackish water of Goi. From Goi, tidal fluxes spread the oil scum to neighbouring littoral communities.

Flood and ebb tides carried the oil sleek to every nook and cranny of the affected communities’ water environment. Oil become stranded and formed oil pools on sandy and muddy inter-tidal depressions during receding tides. Tidal pumping causes oil percolation into sediments. The oil was later inflamed from a yet to be identified source. Consequently, the whirl fire trailed the spread of the oil.

3. COMMUNITIES AFFECTED

Whereas, Mogho and Goi are the epicenters of the spill incident and effects, other bounded communities with interconnectivity of creeks were also affected. The communities are Bodo city, K-Dere and Kpor all in the Gokana Local Government Area of Ogoni, Rivers State.

4. CAUSE(S) OF THE SPILLAGE

The cause(s) of the oil spillage is/are still shrouded in mystery. This could be determined if thorough investigation is done. However, the owners of the leaked pipeline, Shell Nigeria in her traditional style of avoiding responsibilities had issued a press statement blaming the spillage on sabotage even before sending out field inspectors and fire fighters to the affected sites.

5. OIL SPILL RESPONSE

No other post-spill responses have been embarked on beyond extinguishing the fire and plastering the leaking pipe. These dual measures were undertaken simply to enhance the continuous streaming of oil to Bonny terminal for shipment rather than the concern for the environment. This presumption stems from the fact that even the simple physical method of crossing creek channels with floating booms to prevent further downstream spread of oil has been neglected by the oil giant.

6. IMPACTS

The oil flame gutted tropical rainforest and mangrove trees to an estimated range of about 30km2. Arable crops like cassava, yam, three leaf yam, etc on farmlands fringing the affected “Saanako” swamp forest down to Goi were not spared either. The lush and thickly mangrove forest swamp of Goi is now better remembered. Mangrove trees primarily dominated by Rhizophora Spp (red mangrove) and sparse stands of Avicenia africana (white mangrove) pockets of mangrove fern (Acrosticum aureum) and Palsparum vaginatum, the mangrove sedge which creeps high inter-tidal marks were all burnt down. During full tide, when field assessment was done, only the stumps of burnt hanging roots of red mangrove trees, protruding 4-8cm above the water surface depicted the pre-spill mangrove density lost to the inferno.

As a rule of thumb, the primary productivity of the impacted areas will fall drastically. This is because oil films would affect the production of microphytes (phytoplankton) which contribute greatly in association with mangrove leaf litters (detritus) to the primary productivity budget of the local aquatic environment. This is so as the algae (phytoplankton) are deprived of oxygen, radiant heat and light. The Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) will increase with a drop in pH resulting in anoxic conditions that will favour the algal bloom of the opportunistic blue-green algae and dinoflagelates which contribute little (in terms of quality) to the aquatic food chain (Hart, 1997)5.

The shores have lost their compactment and stability. Along the snaky stream, right from the spilled spot to the point of freshwater – brackish water transition, the pre-spill water saturated soil have dried up, lost cohesion and turns vulnerable to riparian erosion. This is shown by visible soil cracks, in blocks along the water banks following three successive rains after the fire was extinguished.

Dug-out canoes used by poor fisher folks, local sand dredgers etc anchored in the vicinity of Goi landing site were burnt to ashes. Fishing nets routinely spread on stakes for drying after fishing were also engulfed.

Set gill nets, beach seine, pens and other fishing gears and enclosures in the affected water web are tainted by oil scum and made useless.

Oil also sleeked into three brackish water ponds situated at Goi. The ponds ranging from 0.1 – 0.3 ha in perimeter belong to one Chief Barizaa Dooh, a 68-year old commercial farmer and transporter.

The polycultured fish ponds had in stock tilapia (Sarotherodon sp) red snapper (Lutjanus goreensis) and catfish (Chrysichthys nigrodigitatus), all commercially important species killed by the toxicity of hydrocarbons and abnormal temperature increase occasioned by the fire factor. Other local fauna within the impacted geographic area were dead or seen moribund as at the time of field investigations by NDPEHRD. Carcasses of fin fish were washed ashore. Sedentary or relatively less mobile bottom dwelling fauna were the hardest hit. Dietary crustaceans such as the hairy mangrove crab

(Gionopsis pilli) fiddler crab (Uca tangeri), Sersamid crabs (Sersama huzardi, Sersama elegans), and Swimming crabs (Callinectes spp) were decimated. Mollusks endemic in the area like Periwinkle (Tympanotonus fuscatus, Pachymelaria sp), dog whelk (Thais spp), Oyster (Crassostrea gasar) were affected6.

Presently, the actual lethal and sublethal impact of the oil spill on local biota cannot be quantified unless a detailed environmental impact evaluation survey is conducted by experts. It is sad to point out that, no baseline information exist on the biodiversity of the impacted areas (published or unpublished) for possible references if need be, should the above mentioned investigation be conducted.

7. INEVITABLE FEARS

The oil spill incident that took place in August, 2003 in Gokana littoral waters which affected these same communities remains also unclean till the time of this report. Secondly, as the grossly defoliated and suffocating mangrove belt especially along Bodo city creek is now re-impacted by crude oil, when the said mangrove swamps have not shown signs of recovery calls for worry. In addition, oil percolating into sediments due to tidal pumping is building up the accumulated hydrocarbon concentration already buried in the affected areas. This suggests the durable extent to which the oil degradation would last.

From: Niger Delta
nigerdeltaproject@yahoo.com

8. RECOMMENDATIONS

NDPEHRD7 therefore, proffers the under-listed urgent recommendations.

1. Immediate clean up and restoration of the oiled environment.
2. Government regulatory agencies should ensure that a detailed investigation into the impacts of the spillage is carried out immediately.
3. Ecological surveys should be carried out to obtain checklists of flora and fauna in the fragile Niger Delta basin.
4. Adequate and independent inquiry to finding cause(s) of the spillage be undertaken and commensurate compensations be paid to affected persons and communities, and
5. Oil companies should adopt operations and technology that are friendly to the environment and also re-new pipelines when due, to forestall avoidable spillages
From: Niger Delta
nigerdeltaproject@yahoo.com

ASIA
S.E. ASIA
Thailand
The NATION

Shrimp tariff cuts in US, EU markets may yield Bt100 bn

Published on Nov 1, 2004

Exporters of Thai shrimps are waiting for an announcement that they believe will send income levels soaring to Bt200 billion if the US lowers its anti-dumping rate and a reduced import tariff to the European market is restored soon.

In a meeting with representatives from four southern shrimp farmers‚ associations last week, Commerce Minister Watana Muangsook said the government had received positive signals from key European Union members such as France, Denmark, Italy, Britain and Sweden that the anticipated changes would indeed take place.

Up until now, Thai shrimp has been subjected to an anti-dumping rate of 6.39 per cent on average to gain entry to the US market.

Exporters also have to pay an average import tariff of 14 per cent for frozen shrimp and 20 per cent for processed shrimp in order to access the EU market. This has slashed the profits exporters enjoyed under the old system ˆ abolished in 1995 ˆ when they prospered under a low, single-digit tariff under the EU‚s Generalised System of Preference (GSP).

„The signals have convinced us that the EU will return the GSP to Thailand, which will in turn strengthen the competitiveness of the country‚s exports. The export value should reach Bt200 billion,‰ Watana said.

„Prime Minister Thaksin [Shinawatra] has held talks with many EU leaders and has received positive feedback from them,‰ he added.

The Kingdom must now wait for the US Commerce Department to announce its final anti-dumping rate, which currently stands at 6.29 per cent.

Pokkrong Kirdsook, president of the Krabi Shrimp Farmers Association, said positive moves by the US and the EU could help resuscitate exports and undo the damage wrought by ebbing local prices over the last several years.

„The lower anti-dumping rate and the return of the GSP would…stabilise both export and local prices.‰

The country‚s shrimp production could potentially double from this year‚s 200,000 tonnes to 300,000 or 400,000 tonnes next year, he said. The export value is expected to jump to Bt200 billion, compared to Bt100 billion after the amendment made in 1995.

He said that greater demand for exports would mean healthier domestic prices for those traders who had been accepting losses for years. The current price of one kilogram of medium sized shrimp (approximately 50-60 shrimp) is Bt130, lower than the average production cost of Bt160 per kg.

The volume of Thai shrimp exported to the EU plummeted by 84.24 per cent after the disappearance of the GSP, from 32,866 tonnes in 1995 to 5,181 tonnes last year.

Of the total 704,603 tonnes of shrimp imported by the EU last year, 0.7 per cent came from Thailand.

Achara Pongvutitham

The Nation

ENVIRONMENT / MANGROVE REFORESTATION; Balance between human needs, nature sought
Bangkok Post, 10 November 2004
(c) 2004
RANJANA WANGVIPULA

Consumption and conservation are often seen as worlds apart, but a seven-year mangrove reforestation effort in southern Thailand is proving the two could go hand in hand with villagers using and protecting its recovering resources simultaneously.

Prof Sanit Aksornkoae, who has devoted himself to mangrove conservation for decades, said yesterday such success would be an answer to the World Conservation Union (IUCN), a high-profile global network of governments, NGOs, and scientists, who will attend its congress in Bangkok next week to find a balance between human needs and nature tolerance.

“It’s fine IUCN wants to focus on conservation. That’s its first priority,” said Mr Sanit, also the president of Thailand Environment Institute.

“At the same time we can’t say mangrove forests shouldn’t be used,” he said.

Environmentally speaking, the well-planned use of mangrove resources would be good for ecology, while in economic terms, nearby villagers would do their best to protect the forest if they were allowed to gain some benefits from it.

Mr Sanit and a team of university experts have been invited by the Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) to help it grow mangroves on nearly 1,000 rai which were previously being used as shrimp farms in Pran Buri District of Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

The PTT began the activity in 1996 as part of its land and coastal reforestation programme on one million rai of land across the country to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the enthronement of His Majesty the King.

“Once reforestation is completed, villagers should be allowed to make use of its resources,” the King was quoted as saying when PTT executives informed him of their programme two years ago.

Following His Majesty’s advice, nearby villagers and students helped the PTT plant mangroves, which eventually turned hard, brown soil to soft, green land in seven years.

The mangroves, which had previously been destroyed by shrimp farms, are also regenerating and various kinds of marine animals are breeding to form a complex ecology, Mr Sanit said.

“In the past, villagers had to sail far out to sea to catch fish for a living. But today it is a different story as the villagers can find food in and near the forest. It’s a happy life,” said a local highschool student Natthika Homkew, who has been involved in the reforestation activity for the past five years.

Crabs and some species of snail are popular products from the mangrove forest and they also help instil a sense of protection in villagers’ minds.

A retired PTT official, Gate Glomchum, said the villagers had even drawn up their own regulations to control food searching in the mangrove forest.

After “nature’s punishment”, that made coastal fish scarce due to the poor state of the mangroves, Mr Sanit said villagers began to realise they had to do more in conservation terms. Food from the mangrove forest is also a major incentive for them to maintain their efforts.

PTT executives strongly support a further study of the area and also plan to use it as a learning centre and a tourist attraction from next year.

From: “Factiva”
emailednews@email.global.factiva.com

=========================================

Bangkok Post Nov.2, 2004

CONSERVATION / IRRAWADY DOLPHINS

Plea to help save rare species

Prachuap Khiri Khan _ Local people, particularly fishermen, have been urged to help save the rare Irrawaddy dolphin, and other sea mammals, from extinction.

Many Irrawady dolphins have been found dead in the province this year, mostly near Khlong Wan bay and Sam Roi Yot beach, Sophon Thongdee, head of the Marine and Coastal Resources Department’s prevention and suppression office in Pran Buri district.

Conservationists were deeply concerned for the animals’ future, he said. There were reports of the mammals being in high demand, with dolphins, fetching up to 100,000 baht each. Dolphin meat is also popular in the province, especially in the Klong Wan area. He asked people to also help conserve rare marine animals such as dugongs, whales and sea turtles.

The Irrawaddy dolphin is now listed in Cites Appendix I and commercial trade is prohibited.

Phuen Bunchuay, the mayor of Khlong Wan, denied dolphins were being hunted by local fishermen for meat. Most of the dolphin meat in markets came from animals accidently killed in fishing nets.

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”
mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

====================================================

Editor’s Note: Seems like sea-farming is getting underway in Thailand in a big way without the proper precautions in place, as happened with shrimp aquaculture. It could be another runway train that can never be controlled once set in motion.

Sea farming is seen by the government as way to turn fisherfolk into cash croppers, with water deeds, bank loans, and hooked to the big feed producers & processors.

Bangkok Post, Nov.2, 2004

Seafood Bank `serious threat to ecosystem’

Water deeds to be issued next month

KULTIDA SAMABUDDHI

The Marine and Coastal Resources Department yesterday expressed deep concern over the possible damage that the marine ecology could suffer from the implementation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives’ Seafood Bank project.

The project is expected to be launched next month.

Maitree Duangsawasdi, the department director-general, suggested the ministry conduct an environmental impact assessment study of the project, which is part of the government’s asset capitalisation scheme, and take into account recommendations from the department’s marine biologists.

“To mitigate environmental impacts of aqua-culture farming on the coastal ecosystem, the ministry must allow the marine department to participate in the project from the beginning,” he said.

Possible adverse impacts from the project’s implementation could lead to the deterioration of seawater quality, destruction of coral reefs and seagrass beds, as well as obstructing coastal fisheries and marine tourism activities, the official said, adding it could also lead to encroachment of vulnerable mangrove forests.

Initiated by Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Newin Chidchob, the project aims to increase aqua-culture farm areas from 130,000 to 284,000 rai within four years. Blood cockle, mussel, oysters, sea bass and grouper would be the five marine animals that are to be promoted under the project. The so-called “water deeds” would be issued to at least 100,000 aqua-culture farmers, who could use the paper as collateral for loans under the government’s scheme to convert assets into capital. Most of the existing aqua-culture farms in the country’s 24 coastal provinces are in Surat Thani.

Under the project, about 154,000 rai more aqua-culture farms would be developed in Trat, Chumphon, Ranong, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Satun, Krabi and Pang-nga. The farm site would have to be 2-10 kms offshore. The ministry claims that the project will increase Thailand’s aqua-culture produces to 1.04 million tonnes a year, worth more than 14 billion baht, from less than one million tonnes now. Mr Maitree voiced his concern after Mr Newin’s announcement yesterday that the ministry would distribute the first batch of the “water deeds” to about 1,000 aqua-culture farmers next month.

Mr Newin told a press conference that a five-rai sea plot would be granted to each family. Farmers eligible for the “water deeds” must be listed on the government’s list of poor farmers.

“Aqua-culture farmers who fail to comply with the ministry’s good agricultural practice and environmental regulations will be blacklisted,” Mr Newin said, adding that the “water deed” was non-transferable and must be renewed every three years.

Mr Newin said large-scale aqua-culture operators would no longer be offered large sea plots. He said some were occupying up to 1,000 rai in the sea. The Fisheries Department would seize the plots from these operators and redistribute them to small farmers.

Bangkok Post Nov. 3, 2004

Seafood Bank project a ‘non-starter’

Warnings fishermen’s woes will only worsen

PIYAPORN WONGRUANG

Instead of boosting income for fishermen, the Seafood Bank project will destroy their way of life, driving them into conflict and poverty, warned community rights and fishery experts and activists yesterday.

Wichoksak Ronnarongpairee, secretary-general of the Federation of Southern Fisher Folk, said the project would jeopardise fishermen’s traditional way of life in which they travelled freely on the seas to fish and make a living.

As coastal areas in the scheme would be divided up and distributed to individuals, that would inevitably interrupt fishermen’s movements, leading to conflicts as they searched for fish and the other marine animals they needed to catch to survive, he said.

”The seas are a public domain that must shared by everyone. They don’t belong to any one person. People living in Bangkok also have a right to them.

”So how can you divide up the country’s property and give it to individuals?” said Mr Wichoksak.

”The Fisheries Department has overlooked this point. Even if you are able to divide up the seas to give a share to everyone, there wouldn’t be enough.”

Under the project initiated by Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Newin Chidchob, the aqua-culture farm area would be raised from 130,000 to 284,000 rai within four years.

Another 154,000 rai would be developed 2-10km offshore of Chumphon, Krabi, Phangnga, Ranong, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ranong, Satun, Trang and Trat.

They would be divided into plots to be given out to at least 100,000 fishermen. ”Water deeds” would be issued to the fishermen with 1,000 of them expected to receive the deeds next month.

The deeds could also be used as collateral for loans under the government’s scheme to convert assets into capital.

The ministry claims the project will increase aqua-culture output from less than a million tonnes to 1.04 million tonnes a year, worth more than 14 billion baht.

Fishermen in the scheme could earn about 10,000 baht a month each.

Mr Wichoksak said not only would there be less sea area to fish in, but fishermen would plunge even deeper into poverty.

Mr Wichoksak said the seas were unpredictable and just one storm could sweep away small-scale aqua-culture farms and leave the farmers in debt.

Moreover, the project would also undermine biodiversity as aqua-culture farming would be carried out in the most biologically sensitive areas, which were the coastlines, he said.

Pakpoom Witantirawat, secretary general of the Southern Non-governmental Organisation Coordinating Committee, said the concept had always been a non-starter as coastal areas were unsuitable for aquaculture.

”The seas are not closed like a pond where you can control things,” Mr Pakpoom said.

=================================================
COMMENTARY

Seafood bank is an investment in calamity

Sanitsuda Ekachai

Without any respect for the ways of the local people, the Thaksin administration is set to stir up more discontent in the South with its seafood bank project.

Many of our Malay Muslims are small-scale fishermen who live along the coast. For them, the sea is not just a common property to be shared but also a gift from God Almighty that must be treated with care before it is passed on to the next generation.

But the central government sees nature as no more than a cash cow. And given its view of the Muslims’ pious and simple way of life as backward _ and its belief that poverty is the main cause of the southern mayhem _ the Thaksin government plans to divide up the coastal waters in the South into plots which it will distribute to individual owners and for commercial farming.

The government expects the plan to create profit and prosperity. The locals, on the other hand, foresee only natural disaster and further conflict.

”If this seafood bank project goes ahead, it will be the end of our livelihood,” lamented one Malay Muslim villager, echoing the concerns of his peers.

Despite the strong local resistance, Deputy Agriculture Minister Newin Chidchob has said the seafood bank project would go ahead next month to increase aqua-culture farm productivity.

The initiative is part of Mr Thaksin’s asset capitalisation scheme, with each aqua-culture farmer to be given ”water deeds” which can be used to take out loans for the commercial farming of cockles, mussels, oysters, sea bass and grouper.

Don’t ask why only those on the Thai Rak Thai government’s official list of poor people can apply. Or why the project supports the farming of only five marine creatures, why the farmers must use state-recommended technology and fish feed, or which agro-business giants will benefit from all this.

And don’t dare ask how the majority of small, self-sufficient fishermen and their families are going to survive when their source of livelihood is taken away to help commercial aqua-culture farms.

For many of the fisherfolk, this could well be the last straw.

Talk to any southern fisherman and he will tell you how abundant the seas used to be before the invasion of ”outsiders” and their giant trawlers.

Like the factories which release toxic waste into the seas, the prawn farms which destroy the mangrove forests, and the cockle farms which ravage the seabeds, the big trawlers’ illegal fishing continues unpunished, thanks to the power of money and political connection.

No wonder the deep resentment that the authorities are supporting their own kind at the expense of the Malay Muslims.

Despite these hardships, the southern fisherfolk feel they can still move about freely in search of the little that is left in the barren seas. But the seafood bank project will put an end to this.

And the fishermen’s fears are not unfounded. Marine biologists have warned about severe damage to the marine ecology. And civic leaders about the community divisiveness and debt trap.

Is there a way out?

When our economy crashed in 1997, His Majesty the King kindly reminded us time and time again of how a self-sufficiency economy could help to avoid such crises.

When the southern mayhem erupted, the King asked the government to win the locals’ hearts and minds through an understanding of local differences and by responding to local needs.

After the Tak Bai horror, the King asked the government to avoid violence and to allow the local people to take part in public policies _ as is their constitutional right.

The southern fisherfolk pursue HM the King’s self-sufficiency economy in their daily life. Yet their traditional ways are being destroyed by the policy violence of a money-minded government which _ contrary to royal advice _ remains oblivious to locals’ aspirations and needs.

As long as we don’t understand this, there is no way out.

Sanitsuda Ekachai is Assistant Editor, Bangkok Post.sanitsudae

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”
mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

———-

Vietnam

Jumbo Brawl As Shrimp Industry Thrives in Vietnam,Trade Fight Looms

Tariffs Send Contrary Signal As U.S. Seeks Closer Ties With an Old Adversary A Billion-Pound Appetite
By PETER FRITSCH
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
October 21, 2004; Page A1

NAM CAN, Vietnam — …In July, the U.S. Commerce Department proposed socking Vietnamese shrimp exports to the U.S. with tariffs ranging from 12% to 93%. The U.S. also imposed tariffs on five other nations, agreeing with the allegation of U.S. shrimpers that foreign competitors were unfairly selling shrimp at below-market prices, a practice known as dumping.

As with any trade dispute, cutting through the minutiae of claims and counterclaims is difficult. But at bottom, this one reflects the clash of
two dramatically different approaches to the shrimp business — and a broader debate about globalization and the future of Vietnam.

On one side is a small fraternity of U.S. shrimpers, most of whom still trawl for shrimp the old-fashioned way, braving high seas to net the
creatures out in the open ocean.

On the other side are millions of shrimp farmers in Asia and Latin America. Exploiting their natural advantages in climate, cheap labor and large
coastal tracts, they farm their catch in ponds — a process virtually\ off-limits to Americans due to environmental concerns and the high cost of
coastal property. Their methods have led to a surge in world shrimp supply, and they now account for nearly 90% of the U.S. market. The growing supply
has led to a dramatic decline in shrimp prices — in the U.S., for instance,wholesale prices fell roughly 40% between 1997 and 2002.

The net result: American shrimp fishermen are struggling, but American consumers are awash in the critters. They eat a billion pounds per year,
more even than tuna fish.

To those already suspicious of U.S. commercial motives around the world, the U.S. case against foreign shrimp farmers is a striking example of Washington using its trade rules to break faith with the gospel of globalization it so often preaches: Free markets reward the most efficient producers, cull the least competitive, help reduce poverty in developing nations and benefit
consumers everywhere by making goods more affordable.

The seafood fight is particularly vexing to Vietnam, a communist country and former enemy locked in an embrace with capitalism. Vietnam, which implemented a sweeping trade agreement with the U.S. in 2001, is opening itself up to foreign competition in other sectors and is dismantling the
machinery of state control over a wide array of industries.

“Vietnam is a country trying to follow our advice and reward entrepreneurship,” says Frances Zwenig, a former chief of staff for Sen. John Kerry who has worked for years on building U.S. diplomatic and
commercial ties to Vietnam. “Then when they take that advice, we punish them: That is a really harmful lesson.”

U.S. officials argue that they found evidence that exporters in Vietnam and elsewhere were engaging in unfair trade practices.…

Losers and Winners

If the three million Vietnamese now involved in the shrimp industry have the most to lose from this trade row, the roughly 13,000 U.S. Gulf Coast and
southern Atlantic shrimpers have the most to gain. Under a highly unusual U.S. law passed in 2000, they are eligible to get the proceeds of any duties
slapped on imports. The World Trade Organization has declared that law illegal and has even gone so far as to say that major U.S. trading partners
can impose punitive tariffs on U.S. exports because of it.

The law, known as the Byrd amendment, is popular on Capitol Hill and has helped U.S. firms in the steel and other industries. It’s less popular at
the White House, which has urged its repeal as part of the fiscal 2004 budget, describing the law as a “corporate subsidy” which provides a “double-dip” benefit to industries that already profit from higher prices once tariffs are imposed on competing imports. Still, the Bush administration has argued before the WTO that the law doesn’t violate any of
its international obligations.

The proposed shrimp tariffs, ranging from 4% to 112%, would affect imports from Thailand, India, Brazil, Ecuador, China and Vietnam. A final ruling is due in the coming weeks.
….
Today, the U.S. is Vietnam’s largest trading partner and commercial ties are growing rapidly — even as the nations continue to exchange barbs over
issues such as Vietnam’s poor human-rights record.

…While the Vietnamese state continues to play a dominant role in financial and other sectors deemed strategic, a host of industries — from coffee cultivation to aquaculture — are growing on their own, far from the purview of central planners.

Vietnam’s flagship garment industry is heavily exposed to the rules of international trade: It will soon have to compete head-on with giants like
China once international restrictions on Chinese and other nations’ garment exports begin disappearing next year. In 2006, Vietnam expects to join the WTO, a move that will subject much more of its economy to rules of international trade.

Against that backdrop, critics of the shrimp tariffs dispute the methodology the U.S. employed to determine that Vietnam has been dumping cheap shrimp on the U.S.

To make its case against Vietnam, the U.S. relied on a finding that Vietnam is a “nonmarket” economy. This technical designation was first conceived in
the 1970s to protect U.S. manufacturers from cheap Polish golf carts. When a country is designated as “nonmarket,” it means that the level of a communist
government’s intervention in the economy is so great that prices and costs can’t be fairly compared with those in market economies.

By law, that technicality forced U.S. officials to look at shrimp industry costs in another developing country of similar economic stature to determine
what Vietnamese shrimp prices should really be. The U.S. chose Bangladesh. To calculate the tariffs on Vietnamese shrimp, officials looked at costs for
things like fuel and freight in Bangladesh, in some cases using\ five-year-old data, and assumed that’s what things would cost in Vietnam, too.

“The process has a fantasy-land tinge that takes you away from reality and gives the U.S. a lot of discretion to look at things however it likes,” says Gary Hufbauer….

Critics say the main flaw of the “nonmarket” designation is its failure to recognize that much has changed since the collapse of the former Soviet
Union. While a country might still control some sectors of an economy, others may operate freely. Today, for instance, prices and wages in the shrimp industry are easily discernible in Vietnam.

The free market isn’t hard to find in Vietnam’s southernmost province of Ca Mau, where tens of thousands of acres of rice paddies have been converted to shrimp farms over the past decade.

Risk Takers

… “People here have been willing to take a lot of personal risks to raise shrimp.” Le Van Quang, 46, is one of the local risk takers. He owns Mihn Phu Seafood Corp. — one of the companies targeted by U.S. shrimpers in their complaint to the Commerce Department. …

It took Mr. Quang 15 years of 20-hour days — usually working on commission
and often sleeping in his car — to build a stable of reliable clients and overcome bureaucratic hurdles to free enterprise. Last year, he says his
company made a profit of $7 million, exporting $95 million of frozen shrimp to buyers in places such as Long Beach, Calif., and Northfield, Ill. He laughs at the suggestion that the communist government helps keep him afloat.

Just the threat of U.S. tariffs caused Mr. Quang’s local buyers to reduce the shrimp price they offer to farmers by about 20% — to about $2.75
per pound. That has made farmers more reluctant to sell.

That, in turn, has meant fewer shrimp for Nguyen Thi Hong Loan to peel. Ms.Loan, 18, uses a sharp-tipped metal thimble to shell shrimp at Minh Phu.
Because she is paid by the pound, her monthly pay — which supports six family members in neighboring Bac Lieu province — has tumbled to $45 per
month from about $75 per month before the U.S. ruling, she says.

At the beginning of the supply chain, shrimp farmer Tran Quoc Thanh is also feeling the pinch. Because of the recent drop in shrimp prices, he
calculates his profits this year will be no more than $115 on his 2.5-acre shrimp farm in the village of Tan Duyet — off 20% from last year.

Across Vietnam, many farmers have borrowed heavily to get into shrimp. Loans outstanding to fishermen from Vietnam’s state-owned Bank for Agriculture and
Rural Development — the nation’s most important source for aquaculture lending — have exploded to about $510 million from about $350 million at
the end of 2002, says bank deputy director Do Tat Ngoc.

Even the bank’s cheapest loans carry stiff annual interest rates of around 13%. In a pinch, shrimp farmers often borrow from local loan sharks at
monthly interest rates as high as 5% to buy shrimp larvae, feed or chemicals for their ponds — most imported at international prices.

Other farmers in the Mekong are beginning to hedge against the downturn in the market. Lam Van Dan, 55, recently began stocking his ponds with crabs
and clams in the hope of offsetting lower shrimp prices. …

The U.S. isn’t expected to make a final ruling on shrimp tariffs for months. Mr. Minh, the trade ministry official, says the government doesn’t have the wherewithal to help out farmers if the tariffs are upheld, as is widely expected. “In this case,” he says, “the farmers will have to fend for
themselves.”

Mr. Quang expects the 14.89% preliminary tariff the U.S. imposed on his company’s products will cut his profits in half, to $3.5 million this year.
He has already cut back shifts for his employees and is now scrambling to make up for orders lost to the proposed U.S. tariffs.

From “Andrianna Natsoulas”
anatsoulas@citizen.org

================================

Note: WWF Kikori project is working out of the Gulf Province of Papua New Guinea. Gulf Province has the largest stretch of Mangroves in Papua New Guinea. Gulf of Papua is also is the centre of prawn fisheries in PNG.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea – A Mega-diversity Hot Spot
by Tanya Leary

Papua New Guinea, Australia’s closest neighbour, is considered one of the world’s mega-diversity hotspots. PNG’s land area is less than 0.3% of the world’s surface area, but it has around 762 species of bird (including visitors and vagrants) with around 405 (53%) of them being endemic species. On a world basis, Papua New Guinea ranks fourth in terms of restricted-range bird species (167) and sixth in the number of Endemic Bird Areas (EBAs = 12) as mapped by Birdlife International. One of these EBAs, the Central Papuan Mountains is notable for its taxonomic uniqueness with nine endemic genera.

Not only is PNG biologically diverse, it is a culturally diverse country with over 700 languages spoken, each with its own distinctive culture. The bird fauna is also culturally important to Papua New Guineans with the feathers, skins, beaks and bones of a wide range of species being used for personal adornment, decoration, weapons and tools. The most famous use of bird plumage is the use of Bird-of Paradise feathers and skins in the headdresses of many PNG tribesmen. PNG has 31 species of Bird-of-Paradise and the feathers of many species are highly sought after for headdresses donned during important “sing-sings” (dancing, chanting and singing) and for use in social exchanges. Melanesians traditionally held (and to a large extent still hold) a strong cultural attachment to many species of bird. Birds and bird parts are important as clan and tribal totems, as symbols of wealth and prestige, for purposes of social exchange (including payment of bride price) and as spiritual idols.

Only 3% of PNG land is alienated (as either freehold or leasehold) and the remaining 97% is held in customary ownership by clans or kinship groups rather than individuals. Less than 10% of the population is engaged in salaried employment and the majority of the population engages in a subsistence lifestyle which involves agriculture, collection of wild food plants, and fishing and hunting. Birds are an important protein source for many communities, particularly the three species of Cassowary and the larger pigeon species such as the two species of Goura Pigeon, the Southern Crowned Pigeon and Victoria’s Crowned Pigeon.

In some areas where population pressure is high (particularly in the highlands), hunting for meat and feathers is believed to have contributed to the decline of a number of bird species. Overhunting in areas with high population density is believed to have contributed to the decline of the Southern Cassowary, the Northern Cassowary, Salvadori’s Teal, the Black Honey Buzzard, New Guinea Harpy Eagle, Victoria Crowned Pigeon, the Southern Crowned Pigeon, Pesquet’s Parrot, and the Palm Cockatoo. However, the most widespread and serious threat to birds in PNG is loss of habitat. In particular from unsustainable commercial logging and conversion of primary rainforest to oil palm plantations in the lowlands, and from subsistence and cash crop agriculture where population density is high (such as the highland valleys).

Papua New Guinea has one Critically Endangered, two Engangered, and 28 Vulnerable bird species listed in the IUCN Red Data Book. Seventeen of these species are confined to PNG’s inner and outer island archipelagos. Seven of these species are found on Bougainville alone, and there has been virtually no survey work done to assess the status of these species since the Bougainville conflict started in 1989. Although birds are PNG’s best known and most studied vertebrate group, they are still considered poorly known by international standards. It is difficult to determine whether some species have restricted ranges because their current known distribution that appears to be scarce or disjunct, may reflect incomplete knowledge rather than genuine distributional patterns. PNG’s more difficult terrain such as the huge karst limestone Great Papuan Plateau or Darrai Plateau, many remote mountains, and it’s inaccessible swamp forests are virtually biologically unknown.

There are a number of national and international conservation organisations working in Papua New Guinea, but there are none with primarily a bird focus, and few that are specifically working on bird conservation or have a single species focus. There are however a number of single species bird research programmes being conducted. Birdlife International does not currently have a Birdlife Affiliate in PNG, but since the Melanesian Avifauna Conservation Workshop held in Fiji last year it has been seeking an Affiliate.

Many of the conservation organisations working in PNG are taking an integrated conservation and development approach that strives to both conserve biodiversity and address the development aspirations of local communities (particularly those which may be in conflict with conservation of biodiversity). Many of these integrated conservation and development projects have some components of bird survey, research, education or conservation. The WWF-Kikori Integrated Conservation and Development Project covers the catchment of the Kikori Basin and has an area of 2.3 million hectares or almost 6% of Papua New Guinea. Bird conservation activities of the WWF-Kikori Integrated Conservation and Development Project include :

1) Bird survey as a part of wider biodiversity survey to identify areas of conservation significance. (328 species of bird have been recorded in the catchment);
2) Surveys of migratory waders and shorebirds in the Gulf of Papua with Wetlands International;
3) Education and production of educational materials particularly relating to hunting and sustainable management/harvest of resources (including bird eggs);
4) Facilitating planning by local communities for the establishment of community owned and managed conservation areas that are known in PNG as Wildlife Management Areas.
5) Research on seasonal changes of avifauna in both the highlands and the lowlands; and
6) Monitoring the impacts of eco-enterprise development on fauna.

Tanya Leary is the Conservation Science Co-ordinator for the WWF-Kikori Integrated Conservation and Development Project and is also a member of the Birds Australia International Committee.

From: “Kuduk, Max”
Max.Kuduk@oilsearch.com

———-

S. ASIA

India

20,000 KILLED 120,000 SEVERELY AFFECTED
Bhopal Gas Tragedy Dec. 2-3, 1984

And you thought only weapons could cause mass destruction

Join survivors in a protest for clean water at the Indian Embassy

November 10, 4 PM
Indian Embassy
2107 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C.

Background
The Madhya Pradesh (MP) State Government in India has failed to
implement a May 2004 Supreme Court directive instructing it to
provide clean piped water to the 14 communities currently forced to
consume water contaminated with poisons from Union Carbides abandoned
factory.

The whole affair reeks of yet another scam at the expense of the
Bhopal victims. While the Government claims to be supplying 360,000
litres of water per day, the actual supply in August 2004 was a
little over 42,000 litres per day, according to data collected by the
International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.

Mercury, chlorobenzenes and naphthalene are some of the deadly
chemicals that were found at dangerous levels in the groundwater.
Nearly 20,000 people, including gas victims and people who moved into
the area after the disaster, are currently drinking this water
because the Madhya Pradesh Government has failed to provide them with
clean water. Already, reports indicate that the contamination may be
causing an increased incidence of abdominal pain, giddiness, anemia,
growth retardation among children, birth defects and skin problems
among the 20,000 people exposed to the poisoned water.

Organized by the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal and the
Association for Indias Development. For more information visit
www.bhopal.net or contact Diana Ruiz, at
dianaruiz@panna.org

The Bhopal Gas Tragedy
20 Years Later, A Continuing Disaster

From: priya@aidindia.org

———-

Bangladesh

Many back to shrimp farms in Satkhira
Virus-free fry, new technology yields 1600- 2000 kgs per hectare
Our Correspondent, Satkhira

THE DAILY STAR

Supply of virus-free shrimp fries by Shrimp Seal of Quality (SSOQ) and introduction of new technology by CP Aqua Culture have brought many shrimp cultivators back to the profession after years of heavy loss.

Like many in Kalaigonj upazila, Sayeed Mehedi had abandoned shrimp farming. He is now back with a renewed energy. He now employs 15 people in his ‘Allahar Dan Shrimp Culture’ at Pania, a remote village in the upazila. In only, two years, he has earned fame and fortune by cultivating shrimp using the new technology. He is now well known in the area.

He cultivated shrimps in only a one acre waterbody and produced Tk 5,89,000 shrimps in three months this year and earned a net profit of Tk 2,95,000. He plans to expand it by January.

He achieved the tremendous success by cultivating virus-free shrimps and using advanced method provided by CP Aqua Culture and Shrimp Seal of Quality (SSOQ) under the joint auspices of Delta Fish Ltd. and Manab Sampad Unnayan Kendra, a local NGO.

His success now draws officials to his project area and encourages others.

Syeed Mehedi passed the HSC (Higher Secondary Certificate) examination in 1992.

He started shrimp farming in 1993. From 1998 to 2001, he incurred losses due to attack on shrimps by White Spot Disease (White Spot Syndrome Virus). He was about to abandoned shrimp cultivation.

“Things changed when I met Jewel Luna, Lame and Herry Kumar, all technicians of CP Aqua Culture India Ltd, and talked to them”, Sayeed said. “They advised and encouraged me to cultivate shrimp again using their new technology and offered technical assistance. “They said 1600 to 2000 kilograms could be produced per hectare by cultivating virus free fries.

Sayeed took a short training and started shrimp cultivation again in 2002.

This year, he purchased 52000 virus free fries from SSOQ and released those in a one acre waterbody. He produced 1550 kilograms of shrimp in three months and sold those at Tk 5,89,000 at the rate of Tk. 380 per Kg. The yield was only 150 kilograms earlier in traditional system, he told this correspondent during a visit to his farm on Wednesday.

“The new method introduced by CP Aqua Culture India Ltd is the most modern, easy and environment friendly ” Sayeed said.

“The miracle has been possible due to supplying of virus-free fries by SSOQ.”

From: zakir kibria banglapraxis@yahoo.com
LATIN AMERICA
Ecuador

The cutting of mangroves continues in El Oro
Fri, 15 Oct 2004

The presidents of the Binational Association of Hydrological Resource Users, Equador chapter (ASPROHI), Marco Aguayo; of the 15 of January Association, Pedro Ordinola; of the Costa Rica Association, Rosita Vera; of the 9 of October Association, Lorenzo Urbina; of the Huquimar Cooperative, Hílger Ramírez; of the El Bendito Association, Julio Bustamante; and the coordinator of the Binational Mangrove Project, Juan Otivo, denounce to the Port Authority of Puerto Bolivar the new cutting of mangroves.

A few days ago, 6 hectares of mangrove were felled that had been previously reforested by the community of Costa Rica Island, in the sector called Chupador. The associations listed above revealed that in the sector Perritos, machinery has been seen ready for the construction of shrimp ponds.

These denouncements are added to those made on 26 December 2003 by the 15 of January Association, 17 September 2004 by the Costa Rica Association, and 17 August 2004 by Wilfredo Banchán, who communicated the felling of mangroves in the El Pilo estuary, in Puerto Bolivar.

Given these facts, the presidents of the associations urgently asked the Port of Puerto Bolivar to increase vigilance in San Gregorio, Huevitos, and the other nearby zones, where the community members, with the aid of the Binational Mangrove Project, financed by AECI and directed by Foundation Pronaturaleza (Peru) and Arcoiris (Ecuador), accomplished the reforestation of about 50 hectares of red mangrove. If the competent authorities don’t act immediately and effectively, the damage to the mangrove ecosystem and to the habitants that depend on it for their subsistence will be irreparable.

These organizations also asked for a copy of the inspection report that the Port of Puerto Bolivar issues in order to verify and check who the responsible parties are of the felling of mangroves on the 21 September.

From: “Fundecol – oficina Quito” <fundecolquito@fundecol.org>
translated by Elaine Corets <manglar@comcast.net>

=============================

Venezuela

Mangrove Restoration Experiment Underway in Margarita Island, Venezuela, To Benefit Tourists, Migratory Birds, and Local Residents

Once scorned as swamplands just waiting to be felled, filled, and developed, the world‚s mangrove forests are increasingly coveted for their value to both people and wildlife. Often called the “rainforests of the sea,” mangroves once dominated the coasts of tropical countries. In the past several decades, however, people have destroyed thousands of mangrove forests purposely or indirectly, through the impacts of pollution, so ecologists are now trying to recreate these essential but endangered ecosystems. The latest restoration effort is underway on the island of Margarita, off the coast of Venezuela, where the conservation group Provita hopes to re-establish 50 acres (20 hectares) of mangrove forest in a popular park and tourism destination.

Tourism, in fact, is one reason the mangroves of La Restinga National Park need help, as thousands of visitors inevitably take their toll on the delicate ecosystem. The 42,000 acre (17,000-hectare) reserve also suffers from extraction of sand and rock for construction and illegal hunting. Tourism, however, is also responsible for Provita’s rescue and restoration effort, according to Jon Paul Rodríguez, who is coordinating the project for the organization. He explains that about 70 boatmen make their living from taking both local and foreign tourists through the serene and wild mangroves, and it was they who first raised the alarm about increasing deterioration.

In addition to being a popular tourism destination, mangroves protect mainlands from storm damage and erosion, provide people with fresh water, wood, and food, as they are the natural nurseries for scores of fish and mollusk species. Like most of the world‚s mangroves, La Restinga National Park is home to thousands of birds, including migratory species like the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), the green heron (Butorides virescens), and the black-bellied plover (Pluvialis squatarola). A designated Ramsar site ˆ meaning it is a wetland of recognized international importance ˆ it is the only site in the Caribbean that is home to wild carnivores, including ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) and the Amazonian hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus semistriatus). Loggerhead (Caretta caretta), hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata), and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) nest on the park’s beaches.

The two-year, $33,000 restoration project began earlier this year with support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wildlife Trust, and the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research. Rodríguez says it will be the first mangrove restoration attempt in Venezuela and is steered by a successful wetlands recreation initiative in Colombia. As part of the initiative, a map identifying sites critical to migratory birds will be created, using information collected from satellite photos and data from national park personnel, who are very involved in the project. The map will help identify priority areas in need of restoration. “One of the sites we are going to restore is a small plain that faces the entrance to the park, where the boats bring the tourists,” says Rodríguez. “We hope to convert the area into a living laboratory.”

A list of common and easily identified birds will be developed for each restoration site, the first step in a bird monitoring program that is accessible to students, amateur birdwatchers, and park guards. Provita also hopes to train local residents so they can be nature guides and own small, low-impact tourism businesses. Another project objective is to determine the appropriate carrying capacity of the park and establish restrictions in land-use that focus on the protection of migratory birds and other important wildlife species.

Five young people from the community, called “bio-monitors,” also are participating in the project, collecting data about mangrove tree species. Other important project allies are the teachers in five local public schools, who teach students about the importance of La Restinga as an internationally significant wetland, one that is invaluable to them, their families and neighbors, migratory birds, and other wildlife. Provita is also planning annual migratory bird conservation festivals, will give presentations to local groups and government offices, launch an education campaign through the media, and establish volunteer youth brigades to help park personnel monitor and guide visitors.

Edgar Villarroel, regional director of Venezuela’s National Park Institute, says that one goal of the wetlands restoration effort is to bring the La Restinga National Park back to its condition in 1974, when it was created. He believes that the project allows “not only for the recuperation of the mangroves, but also for better coordination and interaction with nearby communities.” Rodríguez adds that local residents are motivated and have responded enthusiastically to the project. “The mangroves are an integral part of their lives, and they understand that their well-being depends on the healthy condition of the mangrove,” he says.

If the restoration effort is successful, Provita hopes to restore mangrove forests in Margarita Island’s coastal communities for the purpose of providing residents with a source of wood, which would reduce pressure on the protected forest. “If we do not involve local communities, our long-term success is not possible,” Rodríguez says, underscoring that community participation has been central to Provita’s work throughout its 13 years of working to conserve biodiversity in La Restinga and Tacarigua Lagoon National Parks. The latter is also a Ramsar site, located on the central coast of Venezuela and may be the site of the next mangrove restoration project, depending on what happens in La Restinga. –Katiana Murillo

Contacts in Venezuela: Jon Paul Rodríguez, Provita, 47552, Caracas 1041-A, Oficina 15-1, Los Caobos, Caracas 1040, Caracas, tel +58-212/794-2234, 794-1291, 794-1691, fax +58-212/794-2556, provita@provitaonline.org;
Edgar Villarroel, INPARQUES, tel +58-295/311-2073, 311-2074, 311-2075, evillaroelv@cantv.net.

From: “Eco-Index”
eco-index@ra.orG

NORTH AMERICA
USA
For Immediate Release: Contact: Andrianna Natsoulas (202) 454-5188
Nov. 9, 2004 Erica Hartman (202) 454-5174

New Report Shows How Shrimp Aquaculture Affects
Environment and Communities

True Costs of Shrimp Farming Elsewhere Are Hidden to U.S. Consumers,
Public Citizen Finds

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The environmental and socials costs of shrimp
aquaculture – commonly known as shrimp farming – aren’t reflected in the
low price of shrimp found in restaurants and grocery stores throughout
the United States, according to a new report by Public Citizen. But
consumers should know the full story about how shrimp aquaculture is
harming the environment, displacing traditional communities, eliminating
jobs and destroying ways of life in countries where shrimp farming has
become a big business.

The report, Shell Game: The Environmental and Social Impacts of
Shrimp Aquaculture, is the first in a series that documents the dangers
of shrimp aquaculture. It is available at this website.

Similar to the way industrialized agriculture focuses on mass
production, regardless of the impacts to family farmers and the
environment, aquaculture uses a factory-farming model that involves
polluted ponds, the destruction of local natural resources and cheap
labor in countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Honduras. This shrimp
is destined for the U.S. market because of an increasing demand for the
popular seafood at an affordable price. Shrimp is the No. 1 seafood in
the United States, and nearly 90 percent of it is imported.

“U.S. consumers need to know the whole story behind the
great bargain prices of shrimp, which used to be a delicacy but now is
on every menu at a deceptively low price. But there are costs behind
that low price tag that consumers deserve to know about,” said Andrianna
Natsoulas, field director at Public Citizen’s food program. “The shrimp
cocktail you order at a restaurant comes at the expense of environmental
destruction and displaced people.”

Shrimp farms depend on staggering amounts of antibiotics,
fungicides, algaecides and pesticides. Local communities are robbed of
drinking water sources by farms that pump in fresh water and pump out
wastewater. In addition, these farms are constructed along the
coastlines of tropical countries, often replacing mangrove forests,
destroying salt marshes and preventing local access to traditional
livelihoods.

“Not only is the environment destroyed when shrimp farms move in,
but so are the local communities when they are forced to move out,” said
Natsoulas. “Local communities are dependent on the coastal zones for
their livelihood. When those areas are destroyed, so are coastal
traditions.”

Public Citizen urges consumers to pay attention to where their
shrimp comes from and to buy wild-caught shrimp instead of farm-raised
shrimp. By spring 2005, consumers will be able to make informed
decisions because a mandatory country-of-origin label for seafood will
be required by law. This label will tell consumers where shrimp comes
from and whether it is farm-raised or wild-caught. Consumers also should
ask restaurants where they buy their shrimp.

###

Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization
based in Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit
www.citizen.org.

From: anatsoulas@citizen.org

===================================

New fish-labeling law proving controversial
Monterey County Herald
Mon 08 Nov 2004
Section: z_Top_Story
Byline: By ANDREAS von BUBNOFF, Herald Staff Writer

Seafood consumers wondering where their fish comes from will probably welcome a new federal law that takes effect in April 2005.

The country-of-origin labeling law mandates that retail stores indicate where seafood was caught and processed.

But the law is proving controversial and its implementation already has been delayed once.

Environmentalists say it will enable consumers to buy seafood that has been caught in an environmentally responsible way. Some local fishermen also support the law because it may boost sales of local fish. But fish processors, who buy seafood from fishermen to sell to retailers, are opposed because they don’t want to be made responsible for incorrect labeling.

The law applies to grocery stores but not to restaurants. It does not include processed seafood such as breaded fish sticks, said George Leonard, a biologist with the Seafood Watch Program of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The Seafood Watch Program provides consumers with information about sustainable seafood choices. It issues consumer cards that list certain seafood choices as green for “best choice,” yellow for “caution,” or red for “avoid.”

Leonard said the law will enable consumers to follow many of the Seafood Watch Program’s recommendations.

“One of the most important things is to be able to identify where seafood is coming from,” he said. “In the marketplace right now you can’t do that without asking and hoping that people have that information.”

One example of how the country-of-origin labeling can help the environment is shrimp, said Jennifer Dianto, Seafood Watch Program manager.

The seafood watch card puts U.S. shrimp in the yellow category — caution — but imported shrimp is listed as red, to be avoided. Shrimp from countries like Thailand or Vietnam, Dianto said, are problematic because they are grown in inland ponds. To build the ponds, the shrimp farmers have to cut down mangroves, valuable wetland habitats for birds and other animals. The mangroves also serve as storm buffers and water filters.

Dianto said country-of-origin labeling will also require stores to indicate whether seafood comes from the wild or was grown on farms. This will help consumers avoid buying farmed salmon, for example, which is more environmentally harmful than salmon caught in the wild. The seafood watch card lists farmed salmon as red.

Much of the farmed salmon sold in California comes from farms along the British Columbia coast, Dianto said. The salmon farms harm the environment by generating feces and excess food. Disease and parasites can spread from the farms to wild fish.

Some local fishermen are in favor of country-of-origin labeling.

“I think its a good thing,” said Kathy Fosmark, vice president of the Fisherman’s Association of Moss Landing. “I think the more information the public can receive on the product, the better it is. ”

Tom Canale, a salmon fisherman from Santa Cruz, said he hopes the law will increase demand for wild salmon caught locally. He said he believes people in the Monterey Bay area prefer wild-caught salmon to farmed salmon.

“I think it’s a great idea,” he said of the law. “People would be able to distinguish if they buy farm-raised fish, which people especially in this area would not like to do.”

But the food processors say they don’t want to be held responsible for mistakes in the labeling.

Rod Moore, executive director of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association, said retail stores are responsible for correct labeling. However, he said, the stores won’t buy fish from the processors unless they sign an agreement that if the store is sued for incorrect labeling, the processor is responsible.

“If you have a young seafood clerk who mixes up my piece of fish with a piece of fish from somebody else,” Moore said, “they are going to come back to me and say ‘Hey, I am going to hold you legally responsible for it.’”

But some retail stores don’t expect much of a change once the law takes effect. Phil DiGirolamo, owner of Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing, said he already tells his customers where the fish were caught.

“I like my customers to know where I am getting my fish,” he said.

From: Lynn Hunter hunterlynn@shaw.ca

=======================================================

THE NATION

Shrimp row spreads to soybeans

Published on Nov 10, 2004

After a year of US shrimpers and food wholesalers lobbing barbs at one another over anti-dumping duties that Washington plans to impose on foreign shrimp, US soybean farmers have joined the fight.

The American Soybean Association has asked Washington to reconsider slapping higher import duties on shrimp from six countries after Thai importers threatened to retaliate by refusing to buy US soybeans.

In response, the Southern Shrimp Alliance, which represents the US shrimp industry, sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Donald Evans skewering soybean farmers for caving to ìThailandís illegal threats of retaliationî.

The war of words didnít stop there. The Shrimp Task Force, which represents US shrimp buyers, then released a tirade by its chairman, Wally Stevens.

The Department of Commerce is close to deciding final anti-dumping duties, ranging from 0.4 to 112 per cent on shrimp imported from Thailand, Ecuador, China, Vietnam, Brazil and India.

It is considering duties between 5.56 and 10.25 per cent on Thai shrimp and as much as 112.8 per cent for Chinese shrimp and 93 per cent on prawns from Vietnam.

It will make a decision on Chinaís and Vietnamís duties on November 29 and the rest on December 17.

The soybean group said the duties could result in a huge cut in exports to Thailand and perhaps China. It sent its letter after the threats made by Thai soybean importers.

ìA boycott of US soybean products in reaction to enforcement of US and international trade laws is essentially economic terrorism,î wrote Eddie Gordon, president of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, which complained to the Commerce Department last December about shrimp dumping.

ìIt is inappropriate for Thailand, which is privileged to have an $11 billion [Bt448 billion] trade surplus with the United States, to threaten a trade war,î he wrote.

In response, Stevens of the Shrimp Task Force fired off a missive to Gordon, saying he was ìsurprised and disappointedî at the shrimpersí reaction to the plight of soybean farmers. He also railed at the Commerce Department for the way it calculated the duties.

ìPerhaps you are not aware that the Commerce Departmentís very own mathematics that account for all or most of the preliminary duty levels have been ruled illegal by the [World Trade Organisation],î Stevens wrote.

ìIt is no wonder that Thailand and other countries are outraged over the shrimp case when the duties can only be found using ëfunny mathí, already ruled illegal by the WTO.î

STORIES/ISSUES
SAMUDRA News Alert Beta (Test): Today’s Headlines 13 Oct 2004
SAMUDRA News Exclusive

SOURCE

Report to UN focuses on role of fish, fishery resources in right to food for all

Human Rights & the Right to Food

A report to the United Nations General Assembly by the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the right to food cautions that the ongoing restructuring of fish trade and the fishing industry sometimes has negative effects on the livelihoods and food security of artisanal and subsistence fishers.

In the drive to industrialization, privatization and export orientation, care must be taken to ensure that changes in policies and programmes do not result in the effective exclusion of artisanal and subsistence fishers from their access to fishing grounds, says the report.

It should be ensured that such moves do not result in the transfer of the rights and resources of the poor into the hands of the rich. The right to food means primarily the right to be able to feed oneself with dignity, and therefore requires, inter alia, taking positive action to protect adequate livelihoods, particularly where there are few alternatives. The right to food requires that this right be respected, protected and fulfilled for all people, including marginalized fishing communities, the report adds.

The report notes that this newly emerging issue is important for the right to food in many countries, especially in Asia, but also in Africa and Latin America, where many communities are dependent on fish and fishery resources for their access to food and their livelihoods.

The report expresses shock that hunger is increasing and that “hunger kills many more people than any contemporary war or terrorist attack.”

“One child below the age of 5 dies from hunger-related diseases every five seconds. It is an outrage that we let hunger kill so many small children. The right to food is a human right, inherent in every human being,” the report notes.

Source: UNHCR

The Impact of Trawling on Small-scale Coastal Fishing Communities in Some Parts of Southeast Asia

A Proposed Study by ICSF
—————————

BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE

For quite some time now, trawling has been a contentious and sensitive issue in several regions of Southeast Asia, particularly in the Gulf of Thailand, the Strait of Malacca and the Andaman Sea. Not only is trawling seen as immediately and drastically contributing to the rapid depletion of fishery resources, but small-scale coastal fishing communities in the region also face direct clashes with the trawlers, often leading to loss of life, property and source of livelihood.

In recent years, trawling by Thai companies under various arrangements has become especially problematic off the Sumatra region of Indonesia. The country’s political process of decentralization has, some observers argue, only worsened the situation in many areas. In response to these problems, several fishing communities in Sumatra have launched strong protest movements and struggles against trawling.

On the Malaysian side of the Malacca Strait, the Penang Inshore Fishermen’s Welfare Association (PIFWA) has also joined the movement against trawling and for better management of coastal and marine resources.

A similar situation exists in Thailand, where the battle extends to push-netting as well. Even as they cope with the ramifications of trawling on their own lives and fisheries, Thai fisherfolk have expressed awareness of the destruction being caused by Thai trawlers in the waters of third countries, including neighbours like Cambodia, whose fisherfolk are affected by the operations of Thai trawlers in their waters.

In order to understand these issues in greater depth, and as a prelude to a larger mobilization effort against trawling and in favour of sustainable and responsible fisheries practices, a joint initiative was mooted by groups in Indonesia, most significantly by the north Sumatra-based Jaringan Advokasi Nelayan (JALA). The idea has also been supported by the Thai chapter of the Mangrove Action Project (MAP), which is active in several of these countries.

It is against this backdrop that ICSF has mounted a study on the impact of trawling on the lives and livelihoods of small-scale coastal fishing communities in selected regions of Southeast Asia, and the role of sustainable and responsible fisheries management practices.

It is proposed that an initial study be made to understand the dimensions of the problem and to collect pertinent facts on the issue. The process is also expected to lead to greater awareness of the several dimensions of the problem as well as help mobilize local communities around the issue. It should lead to closer understanding and links between coastal fishers and communities around the Gulf of Thailand, and help them formulate strategies to combat the evils of trawling, while simultaneously developing their own fisheries management strategies.

While this is the long-term strategy, the initial step would be to engage in fact-finding through a participatory study.

FOCUS OF STUDY

The geographical focus of the study will be mainly the Gulf of Thailand and the Malacca Strait, covering the countries of Indonesia (mainly Sumatra), Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia.

Initially, however, the study will concentrate on Indonesia and the Malacca Strait, using the experiences of coastal communities and organizations in the Sumatra region as a possible point of departure for larger forays into the Southeast Asian region.

Efforts will be made to understand the following:

• Fisheries management policies in the four countries, and particularly the initiative currently under way regarding decentralization/devolution of administrative powers, with special emphasis on foreign fishing agreements, joint ventures, and their roles in the different fishing sectors.

• Initiatives by communities in the region towards management of coastal and marine resources. The nature of the people’s organizations that have been responding to these issues, and their strategies and ongoing programmes.

• The main challenges faced by communities in their efforts towards such management, including the problems being faced by destructive fishing methods (dynamiting, light fishing for anchovies, push-netting, trawling, etc.). The study will have a particularly detailed focus on bottom trawling, given its importance in the region and its significant impact on small-scale fishing communities using non-trawl gear. Has bottom trawling in the region spread due to competition with other fishing operations? Are trawlers migrating because they have limited space within their own national waters, or because they are pushed out, or is it a larger capacity issue in the region? Among the other factors to be examined will be country of origin, the various institutional and traditional arrangements that allow for trawling (particularly in a decentralization context), labour absorption, and conditions of work on trawlers.

• Scope for a regional approach towards tackling the problems of bottom trawling. An examination of the existence of, or scope for, any ASEAN-level arrangements for fisheries management and sharing of fisheries resources (comparison with other existing regional arrangements like the SADC protocol on fishing).

METHODOLOGY

The study will have two broad components: (1) Regional studies/assessments to be undertaken by local communities/groups/fishworkers’ organizations that are associated with the programme, a process that will serve as a means to their own empowerment on the issues concerned (2) A larger macro-overview and synthesis by ICSF

The initial focus of the study will be the Malacca Strait and the Sumatra region of Indonesia, which is where the preliminary field trips for the study will possibly be launched.

In Thailand, a detailed study on these aspects will be undertaken by the southern fishworker federation, with support from SDF; in Malaysia, by PIFWA; and in Sumatra, by several groups, including JALA, jointly. Specific research questions will be given to each of these groups. It will be kept in mind that the research process is as important as the research itself.

The study will be coordinated by KG Kumar on behalf of ICSF. Please contact From: KG Kumar kgkumar@gmail.com to submit your information or to ask any questions about this study..

TIME FRAME

November/December 2004 to April/May 2005. In this period, trips will be made to all these countries to meet with local groups, collect information, discuss the research methodology and process, and so on.

FOLLOW-UP

A workshop can be held after the completion of the study to discuss a common plan of action for the fishworker organizations in the four countries.

From: KG Kumar kgkumar@gmail.com

==========
Global Fishing Trade Takes Jobs and Food From Poor, Says U.N.

October 28, 2004 – By Reuters
UNITED NATIONS – Governments must do more to protect their fishers from being crowded out of the water by industrial fleets that export their catch rather than feed locals and take away jobs, a U.N. human rights investigator said this week.

“Fisheries provide both food and livelihoods, particularly for poor and marginalized communities living in coastal areas, but also inland communities dependent on freshwater fishing or traditional methods of raising fish,” Jean Ziegler, a U.N. expert on the right to food, said in a new report.

“In the drive to industrialize, privatize, and orient fish production toward exports, poor fishing and fish-farming communities are often left behind,” he said.

Ziegler, appointed by the Geneva-based U.N. Commission on Human Rights, is scheduled to report his findings to a General Assembly committee Wednesday.

While developing nations exported US$18 billion in fish in 2000 compared to $10 billion in 1990, “it is not clear whether the income gained from these exports is generally benefiting poorer fishing communities, given the simultaneous shift towards the privatization of fishing resources,” he said.

The same may be true of fish farming, which takes place mostly in the developing world and could surpass the traditional capture of fish by 2020, he said.

While farming has promoted food security in China, where most operations are small-scale and most of what is produced is consumed locally, this is not the case in nations where the practice is pursued on an industrial scale and export-oriented, he said.

Governments should therefore take steps to protect livelihoods and access to food and fishing resources as the industry evolves, Ziegler said.

“Hunger is not inevitable. Nor is it acceptable,” he said. “There is no secret as to how to eradicate hunger, there is no need for new technologies. There is simply the need for political commitment to challenge existing policies that make the rich richer and the poor poorer,” he said.

The report is available HERE.

Source: Reuters

From: “Mr. M F Ferrari”
mfferrari@pd.jaring.my

=========================================

Note From Editor: Again, if the sea level rises, where will the mangrove go to if higher ground contains developments that are located in the areas behind the mangroves? Shrimp farms, tourist hotels, urban expansion and roadways all may be sandwiching in the mangroves leaving them nowhere to go.

Greenland Ice Sheet “Likely To Be Eliminated” By Climate Change

“The Greenland ice-sheet would melt faster in a warmer climate and is likely to be eliminated — except for residual glaciers in the mountains — if the annual average temperature in Greenland increases by more than about 3°C. This could raise the global average sea-level by 7 metres over a period of 1,000 years or more.” So begins a paper in the journal Nature. [One degree Celsius is equivalent to 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit; one meter equals 1.094 yards]. The paper’s authors go on to argue that, by the year 2100, concentrations of greenhouse gases will have likely reached levels “that are sufficient to raise the temperature past this warming threshold.”
At present, notes the paper, “about half of the snow falling on Greenland melts and runs off as water, and the remainder is discharged in the form of icebergs. Climate change caused by higher greenhouse-gas concentrations is expected to produce both higher temperatures and greater precipitation, but most studies conclude that the increase in melting will outweigh the increase in snowfall. For an annual average warming of more than 2.7 °C, the melting exceeds the snowfall” — a situation in which, the authors observe, “the ice-sheet must contract, even if iceberg production is reduced to zero as it retreats from the coast.”
It has been predicted that a warming of 3oC (5.4oF) would prompt a progressive retreat of the ice sheet over millennia, possibly reaching a steady state in an inland form. Greater temperature increases would result in more rapid and significant loss of the ice sheet.
Using methods deployed in the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the paper’s authors used climate models to calculate Greenland’s temperature rise under scenarios in which atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide stabilize at different levels. Temperature increase exceeded the 2.7oCelsius threshold in 34 of the 35 scenarios, although the authors note that calculations using summer warming (when the ice sheet is sensitive to temperature increase) rather than year-round warming could reduce that number to 24 out of 35.
Given that the lowest carbon dioxide concentration considered in the models was 450 parts per million (p.p.m.), and further given that (a) this level is exceeded by 2050 in all the IPCC’s emission scenarios, and (b) that carbon dioxide is not the only greenhouse gas, the authors conclude that the Greenland ice sheet “is likely to be eliminated by anthropogenic climate change unless much more substantial emission reductions are made than those envisaged by the IPCC …
“Without the ice-sheet, the climate of Greenland would be much warmer because the land surface would be at a lower altitude and reflect less sunlight … Even if atmospheric composition and the global climate were to return to pre-industrial conditions, the ice-sheet might not be regenerated, which implies that the sea-level rise could be irreversible.”
Source: Gregory, J.M., et al. 2004. Threatened loss of the Greenland ice sheet. Nature 428: 616.
Contact: Jonathan M. Gregory, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading RG6 6BB, UK. E-mail: j.m.gregory@reading.ac.uk

From: Bill Mott <bmott@THEOCEANPROJECT.ORG>

========================================

Amphibian Extinctions Sound Global Eco-Alarm –Study

Story by Ed Stoddard, THAILAND: October 15, 2004

BANGKOK – They may thrive on land and in water, but amphibians everywhere are in serious trouble and up to a third of species are threatened with extinction, a troubling new study said on Friday.

Scientists say this is an ominous sign for other creatures, including humans, as amphibians are widely regarded as biological “canaries in the coal mine” since their permeable skin is highly sensitive to changes in the environment. In short, they go first and others follow.

The first comprehensive survey of a grouping that includes frogs, toads and salamanders, the Global Amphibian Assessment says that at least nine species have become extinct since 1980. It says 113 more have not been reported in the wild in recent years and are believed to have vanished. The full details will be published in a few weeks in the respected journal “Science.” “Amphibians are one of nature’s best indicators of overall environmental health,” Russell Mittermeier, president of Conservation International, said in a statement from the World Conservation Union, or IUCN, one of the world’s top environment bodies.

“Their catastrophic decline serves as a warning that we are in a period of significant environmental degradation,” he said in the statement that coincided with the final day of a two-week meeting of signatories to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok.

After birds and mammals, amphibians are only the third broad group of animals to be surveyed on such a global scale. More than 500 scientists from over 60 countries contributed to the report. The three-year study analyzed the distribution and conservation status of all 5,743 known amphibian species. Scientists from Conservation International and the IUCN collaborated on the study.

HOPPING TO EXTINCTION

In the Americas, the Caribbean and Australia, a highly infectious fungal disease called chytridiomycosis is taking a big toll on amphibians. Air and water pollution, habitat destruction, climate change, the introduction of invasive species and consumer demand are the biggest global threats. About one-third — at least 1,856 amphibian species or 32 percent of them all — are threatened with extinction. By comparison, only 12 percent of bird and 23 percent of mammal species are endangered. The study also found that the populations of 43 percent of all amphibian species are in decline while fewer than one percent are rising. It found that 27 percent are stable and the rest are not known.

“The fact that one third of amphibians are in precipitous decline tells us that we are rapidly moving toward a potentially epidemic number of extinctions,” Achim Steiner, director-general of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), said in the statement.

The study adds to an alarming body of evidence that the planet is facing a sixth wave of “mass extinctions,” the first since the dinosaurs perished 65 million years ago. But this round of die-offs is man-made. The report also highlights the link between poverty and environmental degradation. Dirt-poor and conflict-ridden Haiti has the highest percentage of threatened amphibians with 92 percent of its species facing extinction.

The above article was taken from Reuters News Service – Friday, October 15, 2004

Murni Adnan, Global Environment Centre
murni@genet.po.my

=============================

PLANET ARK

World Living Beyond Its Environmental Means – WWF

SWITZERLAND: October 22, 2004

GENEVA – The world is consuming some 20 percent more natural resources a year than the planet can produce, conservationist group WWF said yesterday.

The Swiss-based organization called on governments to move rapidly to
restore the ecological balance.

“We are running up an ecological debt which we will not be able to pay
off,” Dr Claude Martin, director-general of WWF International, said in a
statement.

In its ‘Living Planet Report 2004,’ the fifth in a series, the WWF said
that between 1970 and 2000, populations of marine and terrestrial species
fell 30 percent. That of freshwater species declined 50 percent.

“This is a direct consequence of increasing human demand for food, fiber,
energy and water,” it said. “…humans consume 20 percent more natural
resources than the earth can produce.”

What WWF calls the “ecological footprint” – the amount of productive land
needed on average worldwide to sustain one person, currently stood at 5.43
acres.

But the earth had only 4.45 acres per head – based on the planet’s
estimated 11.3 billion hectares 27.9 billion acres of productive land and
sea space divided between its 6.1 billion people.

The fastest growing component of the footprint was energy use, which had
risen by 700 percent between 1961 and 2001.

North Americans were consuming resources at a particularly fast rate, with
an ecological footprint that was twice as big as that of Europeans and
seven times that of the average Asian or African, WWF said.

REUTERS NEWS SERVICE

From: Darlene Schanfald
darlenes@olympus.net

ANNOUNCEMENTS
World Fisheries Day, Nov. 21st!

World Fisheries day is celebrated every year on November 21 throughout the world by the fisherfolk communities. Fishing communities worldwide celebrate this day through programs of different nature e.g. rallies, workshops, public meetings, cultural programs, dramas, exhibition, music show, and demonstrations. Fisher folk stop fishing on the World Fisheries Day to emphasize that the oceans need rest.

Like last many years, Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum [PFF] the representative civil society organization of the fisherfolk communities of Pakistan is celebrating World Fisheries Day by organizing:

Fisherfolk Mela

On November 21, 2004

At Jamote Jetty, Ibrahim Hyderi Karachi

Mela is planned to establish solidarity among fisherfolks of Pakistan and with world fishing communities. The fisherfolk communities would observe November 21 as a day of rest for the ocean. The Pakistan Fisher folk Forum expects to attract 50,000 fisherfolks and supporters to attend this Mela.

From Sikander Brohi
Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum ( PFF)
sikanderbrohi@yahoo.com

=============================

Feb. 2nd, 2005 International Wetlands Day

Dear Forum members. World Wetlands Day falls on 2 February every year,
and each year since 1997, government agencies, non-governmental
organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community
have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at
raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and
the Ramsar Convention in particular. In 2004, some 250 events in 85
countries were reported to us in the Secretariat and described on our
Web pages.

Every year, with generous financial assistance from the private sector
Danone Group, the Secretariat has offered a new selection of posters,
stickers, videos, pocket calendars, leaflets and information packs free
of charge, and this year is no exception – an attractive and
thought-provoking poster and three new stickers have been produced and
are now available in English, French, or Spanish for event organizers
all over the world, as well as in electronic format for those who might
wish to customize them or print large quantities for themselves. In a
break from the past, this year stocks of these materials have been
shipped to the Convention’s Administrative Authorities in the national
governments of member States, and we are providing a list of contacts in
all of these countries to whom event organizers should direct their
requests in the first instance.

Further information about the available materials and how to order them
can be found at HERE.

From: “PECK Dwight”
peck@ramsar.org

=================================

WWF Prince Bernhard Scholarships for Nature Conservation, Year 2005

A major constraint facing conservation efforts is the shortage of technical and professional capacity at the local and national levels. By supporting conservation education, WWF hopes to foster local conservation leadership, enhance local involvement in work to protect the environment, promote partnerships for conservation amongst a range of stakeholders, and help reinforce the impacts of the WWF conservation programme.

The WWF Prince Bernhard Scholarship Fund for Nature Conservation was established in 1991 in honour of WWF’s Founder President, HRH Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands. The goal of the Scholarship Fund is to build human capacity for conservation.

The Prince Bernhard Scholarship Fund is administered by WWF International, based in Gland, Switzerland.

Eligibility Criteria

The following six criteria will be used to designate the candidates who will participate in the selection process

Application form correctly filled in, accompanied by copies of qualification certificates and letter(s) of reference.
Evidence of conservation commitment, candidate employed in conservation or showing long-term commitment to conservation.
Candidate requesting support for study or training periods lasting one year or less, to be initiated no earlier than 1 July 2005 and no later than 30 June 2006.
Evidence of acceptance on the desired course.
Candidate seeking support for no more than Swiss Francs 10’000 or providing evidence of supplementary support if the costs of the course are over this amount.
Candidate coming from Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and Caribbean.

Should you have any questions, please contact:
Elizabeth Barzdo
WWF Prince Bernhard Scholarships for Nature Conservation
c/o WWF International
Avenue du Mont Blanc
1196 GLAND
Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 364 91 11
Direct +41 22 364 95 03
Fax: +41 22 364 58 29
ebarzdo@wwfint.org

=====================================

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS

New Popular Children’s Book On Mangroves Launched

The Sea, the Storm and the Mangrove Tangle is author/Illustrator Lynne Cherry’s most recent book. Lynne is the author of A River Ran Wild, the rainforest classic The Great Kapok Tree and 30 other books which are widely used in schools to teach children about biomes (different ecosystems) and to teach them that they can help to protect the earth’s natural places.

Lynne would like to get the word out about her book to groups that are interested in helping to save the mangroves. She is also interested in seeing her book used to teach children about these essential ecosystems.

If you would like to share names of any people or organizations that share this concern, please e-mail Lynne at ecoauthor@earthlink.net. Or you can request a review copy of the book from Farrar Strauss Giroux publishers.

At present, Lynne is on tour in Florida speaking about her latest book and signing copies!

AQUACULTURE CORNER
Non-Native Farmed Carp Escapes, Causes Worry
Earlier this week, authorities announced plans to erect an electrified, underwater barrier in the waterway connecting Lake Michigan to the Mississippi River watershed to try to stave off the northerly advance of the Asian Carp, a huge fish that gobbles up vital phytoplankton. The carp, which escaped flooded fish farms along the Mississippi, is within 50 miles of Lake Michigan.

From: Darlene Schanfald
darlenes@olympus.net

=====================================

Organic Farmed Aquaculture Label Questioned

(Editor’s Note: The controversy over organic labels for shrimp is now raging internationally as groups such as Naturland in Germany are attempting to label shrimp production as organic in very questionable circumstances. Shrimp are also carnivorous, so would fail to meet the same criteria stated below!

Because the organic standards that are being discussed here are applicable to imported aquaculture products as well, then I would strongly suggest that the criteria needs to apply to shrimp imported as “organic”, as well as stronger reference must be made to social problems or issues needing to be brought into focus because of local and traditional communities being adversely affected by these so-called “organic” operations that are now entrenched in the Developing nations.)

SeaWeb Aquaculture Clearinghouse
102 Waterman St, Suite 16
Providence, RI 02906
www.AquacultureClearinghouse.org
October 14, 2004
TO: National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)
c/o Ms. Katherine Benham
Advisory Board Specialist at USDA–AMS–TMD–NOP
1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 4008–So., Ag Stop 0268
Washington, DC 20250–0200
katherine.benham@usda.gov

FROM: Brendan O’Neill and Bill Mott
SeaWeb Aquaculture Clearinghouse
102 Waterman St., Suite 16
Providence, RI 02906

RE: The formation of a task force on standards for organic production of aquatic animals
The SeaWeb Aquaculture Clearinghouse believes organic standards need to be developed for aquaculture. We further support establishment by the NOSB of a new aquatic species task force with balanced representation from all stakeholders, including the public. We believe that in order to maintain the overall integrity of the National Organic Program and the USDA “organic” certification seal, it is especially important that new organic standards for aquaculture be consistent with, and follow the guiding principles in, USDA’s current organic standards. Organic aquaculture standards must not be fundamentally different than the remainder of organic standards for livestock.
While we understand that there is increasing demand for organic products, including fish and shellfish, and we understand that some in the industry are eager to obtain organic classification, we feel that “bending” the rules to accommodate certain forms of aquaculture would be a mistake. The USDA “organic” label is the gold standard and should be as strong as possible. In recent years, there has been pressure to adjust organic standards to current “best management practices”, instead of adjusting industry practices to meet organic standards.
Standards for organic aquaculture must not undermine the integrity, credibility, and public understanding and trust developed for other organic standards, and organic aquaculture must be held to the high standards recently applied across most other forms of food production.
Development of weak standards for aquatic organisms would undoubtedly result in reduced
consumer confidence in the organic program as a whole.
In this context, it is particularly important to note fundamental problems associated with
proposals for organic certification of carnivorous fish aquaculture and the use of net pens or
other open systems.
First, farming carnivorous fish, as currently practiced, is dependent on the use of feeds made
from fishmeal and fish oil, both of which are derived from wild fish product and neither of which
can therefore be considered organic under any of the standards. While our comments are
Comments from the SeaWeb Aquaculture Clearinghouse to the NOSB on the formation of an aquatic animal task force
SeaWeb Aquaculture Clearinghouse • 102 Waterman St, Suite 16 • Providence, RI 02906
www.AquacultureClearinghouse.org
focused on farmed species, it is important to note that we share the same concerns for the
certification of wild fish and feel that their certification under the organic label would further
undermine the organic program.
Current organic standards for animals require a diet consisting of all organic materials.
Therefore, if carnivorous fish, both farmed and wild, were to become certifiable as organic, this
certification would require a significant deviation from the well-established standards to which
all other organic animal producers adhere. Furthermore, farming of carnivorous fish currently
results in a net loss of fish protein, which goes against the core principles of sustainability,
ecological soundness, and avoidance of damage to natural ecosystems that underlie the rationale
for organic production.
Second, the use of open aquaculture systems, such as netpens, or in some cases, cages in both
nearshore and offshore waters, is problematic and not in agreement with basic organic principles,
such as the responsible management and recycling of wastes. Discharges from these facilities
directly into surrounding bodies of water can include uneaten food, feces, drugs and other
chemicals, diseases and parasites, and exotic species and strains of aquatic organisms.
In contrast, several types of aquaculture are well suited to organic certification. Those include
aquaculture operations raising low trophic level species (e.g. catfish). Some aquaculture
operations raising such species in low discharge ponds or recirculating systems, especially when
polyculture or integrated aquaculture are incorporated, are particularly good candidates for
consideration for organic certification.
We hope that the NOSB will take these specific points into consideration:
• The NOSB should create a new aquaculture task force with balanced representation from
all stakeholders, including the public. SeaWeb, which has been involved with
aquaculture issues since 1998, would like to be included on the task force. If wild aquatic
organisms are to be considered as well, they should be addressed by a separate task force,
as the issues involved are significantly different.
• Members of the aquaculture task force should include fish farmers, consumer
representatives, representatives of the conservation community, scientists, and certifiers.
The input of aquaculture industry members and supporters is important but should be
solicited as part of a balanced panel. It is critical that experts from outside of the
industry, with no financial interest at stake, be included. This is especially important
given that industry members and supporters may provide a detailed understanding of
concepts such as domesticated animal nutrition and aquaculture system engineering, but
they may not provide an adequate understanding of host ecosystem conditions and
interactions with the farming system and the community. Diverse representation will be
critical since these concepts will be equally important in deciding on appropriate
standards and on which systems and species qualify.
Comments from the SeaWeb Aquaculture Clearinghouse to the NOSB on the formation of an aquatic animal task force
SeaWeb Aquaculture Clearinghouse • 102 Waterman St, Suite 16 • Providence, RI 02906
www.AquacultureClearinghouse.org
• The NOSB should create its own task force and not rely on recommendations of the
National Organic Aquaculture Working Group (NOAWG) as this group is currently
weighted too heavily in favor of aquaculture industry interests.
• Standards for organic aquatic organisms must remain fully consistent with other national
organic standards under the requirements of the OFPA of 1990.
• It is our belief that the prestigious and publicly recognizable USDA organic label should
always be a highly coveted goal for producers and reserved only for those who are
utilizing innovative and the most sustainable methods of production.
• The OFPA requires producers to feed livestock an organic diet in order to receive the
organic label. Aquatic animals must be held to this same standard.
• Unapproved drugs and chemicals must not be allowed in the production of organic
aquatic organisms. Instead, preventative health care measures such as reduced density,
biosecurity controls, and living conditions that allow for natural behavior and reduced
stress should be used.
• All wastes, including nutrients, from the production of organic aquatic organisms must be
responsibly managed and recycled. The discharge of wastes from aquaculture systems
into the aquatic and marine environment must not be allowed, as “dilution is not the
solution to pollution.”
• Organic aquaculture producers should have a neutral or positive impact on the
environment. At no time should organic producers negatively impact wild organisms and
the surrounding environment. Included in negative impacts would be the escape of
farmed organisms, killing and harassment of wildlife, transfer of diseases and parasites to
wild organisms, or discharge of pollutants.
• Standards for organic aquatic organisms must not allow genetically modified aquatic
organisms or ingredients at any time.
We thank you for the opportunity to comment and appreciate the NOSB’s efforts to develop
strong organic production guidelines for the aquaculture industry. We look forward to working
with the NOSB and others as this process moves forward.

=========================================

Oil Spills Into US Political Waters

Industrial FishFarming
industrial-fishfarming@iatp.org
posted by  eatwildfish@aol.com

Bellingham Herald November 1, 2004
That petroleum drives U.S. politics is glaringly obvious.
But under the radar screen, big oil policies and politicians affect ocean
governance, navigable waters, commercial fishing and coastal economies.
Our ocean commons belong to everybody as a trust asset and we?re obligated
to future generations to ensure it will not be staked out, sold off, given
over to private and polluting industries.
The Department of Commerce is headed by an oilman. Within Commerce is the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that is aggressively promoting
industrial aquaculture.
Allowing any polluting industry opens the door to drilling, mining, garbage
burning and other uses of the marine commons we have not agreed upon.
Thousands of oil rigs will be exempted from future cleanup costs of upwards
of $30 million dollars each if a fish farm can be attached to the structure,
under Congressional legislation HR 2644.
Local fish farmers also utilize tax dollars as they develop plans for
100-200 submerged cages in the Straits of Juan de Fuca, off Port Angeles.
Just as small family farms are at a disadvantage in the heavily subsidized
world of corporate food production, small family fishing businesses cannot
survive when subsidized farm fish flood the marketplace.

BELLINGHAM HERALD

Anne Mosness, Go Wild Campaign
mosnessiatp@aol.com

==================================-

Ecoceanos, 11th November
Great Victory Of Organized Citizens:
SALMON SHIPMENT CONTAMINATED WITH MALACHITE GREEN WAS
DESTROYED BY CHILEAN AUTHORITIES

Puerto Montt, Chile. 11th of November 2004. (Ecoceanos News) – After several actions carried out by citizen’s organizations both at the national and international level, the company Procint, that owned the salmon shipment contaminated with malachite green, detained by the sanitary authority from The Netherlands last August, was obligated to destroying this shipment. This happened after a resolution of the Chilean Ministry of Health prohibiting selling that salmon in the local markets. Critics from Chilean scientists as well as NGOs were raised after the intention of the company to re-exporting
this contaminated product to the Russian Federation.

The destruction of this shipment was informed to Ecoceanos News by the
Director of the Health Service of the Lakes District South (Llanchipal) Dr.
Yuri Carvajal (MD), who stated that “yesterday were destroyed 22 ton of
salmon contaminated with malachite green that were disposed in an industrial
dumping place in Puerto Montt. An inspector of the Health Service acted as a
Minister of Faith, who after that wrote a full report and also captured
images of the whole process”.

The shipment was detained by the sanitary authority from The Netherlands
last August, and sent back to Chile after detecting the carcinogenic
antifungal known as malachite green. Due to the pressure of the
environmental organizations, as well as from consumers groups, the Chilean
authorities made the un-precedent decision of prohibiting its consumption,
sealing the container with distinctive stamps. The container was stored
three months in Puerto Montt in the facilities of the company Procint, who
acts commercializing and assembling products for big salmon companies
located down south Chile.

Different organizations including NGOs, the medical board, and a group of
deputies from the Chilean Congress, representing some electoral districts
southern Chile, are requesting the creation of a Parliament Commission to
investigate the reasons of the contamination of salmon productions with
prohibited-chemical substances. At the same time this Commission should also
investigate the indiscriminate use of carcinogenic substances contained in
some antifouling paintings as well as the high levels of antibiotics used by
the aquaculture industry.

Dr. Juan Carlos Cardenas (DVM), Executive Director of Centro Ecoceanos said
that “the destruction of the contaminated shipment set an important
precedent to the defence of the environment and public health and at the
same time is a very powerful signal to the salmon industry to the need of
increasing its environmental, health and labour standards in Chile”

Cardenas added that “the environmental organizations, salmon-industry
workers and consumers’ organizations are getting better organization
capacities, both at the national and international level, facts that will
strengthen their role in making accountable this globalized industry as well
as actively participating in the processes of public information and
creation of cooperative alliances to the development of more strict
regulations”.

Andrei Tchernitchin (MD), President of the Commission of Health and
Environment from the Chilean medical board, welcomed this measure at the
same time that criticized the attempts for re-exporting this product saying
that “under sanitary and ethical criteria it is reprehensible to attempt
re-exporting products to other countries where their regulations neither
contain restrictions nor have adequate technologies to detecting the
presence of toxic chemicals that are harmful for consumers”

Juan Trimboli, from Consumers International said to Ecoceanos News that
“this decision is in essence an important triumph for all citizens. This
demonstrates again, that the action of the citizen’s organizations is key.
All the advances that could be made regarding the corporate responsibility
of the companies are based in the action of organized citizens, conscious of
their rights, ready to demanding them, and that at the same time can
dialogue with the government and entrepreneurs to obtain this kind of
positive outcomes”

Brian O’Riordan, coordinator of the International Collective in Support of
Fish workers (ICSF), one of the organizations that made some official
inquiries to the Chilean government regarding the contaminated
salmon-shipment as well as alerted to the European consumers regarding the
potential harms, said that “the destruction of the consignment of
contaminated salmon is a very positive development”.

From: “Don Staniford”
don@focs.ca

The MAP News, 146th Ed., 13 Oct 2004

Dear Friends,

This is the 146th Edition of the Mangrove Action Project News. Please consider the following rather urgent request from MAP:

MAP SEEKS TO MATCH A $5000 GRANT

Dear MAP Supporters,,

You can help MAP match a $5,000 grant from two long time supporters. If you donate now to MAP. The value of your contribution will be matched till we reach our goal of $10,000!

Your generous support for our 2004 Matching Fund, will among other things allow Mangrove Action Project to launch our Migratory Bird Flyway Protection Campaign to halt destruction of important migratory stopover sites in the mangrove wetlands found along their long migratory routes where they must feed and rest before continuing on. Without these key stopover sites, millions of migrating waders, shorebirds, waterfowl and land birds will be endangered, and whole migrations could be disrupted and entire species extinguished in a short time.

Please give to MAP today, earmarking your contribution to Protect The Mangrove Flyways!

Additional Note: Our 2005 Children’s Art Calendars are now available; these make great gifts for the new year! Please order your calendars now, and support MAP’s important efforts!

For the Mangroves!

Alfredo Quarto,
Mangrove Action Project

Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.

Contents for MAP NEWS, 146th Edition, 13 October 2004
FEATURE STORY
MAP Co-Founder, Pisit Charnsnoh Wins The Rolex Award!

MAP WORKS
Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop
MAP Seeking Professional Development Coordinator
MAP Launches Program To Protect Migratory Bird Flyway Routes
MAP’s Children’s Mangrove Art Calendars for 2005 Now Available!!!
MAP Volunteer Work Study Tour for Mexico’s Yucatan in January
MAP Eco-Study Tours In Thailand

AFRICA

Nigeria
WEMPCO Must Packout!

ASIA

S.E. ASIA

Thailand
Quick passage of Forest Community Bill sought
Villagers fear for their lives after murder
CAN SONGKHLA LAKE BE HEALED?
Gulf bridge project attacked as wasteful

Malaysia
Save Penang Island’s Last Mangroves!
***ACTION ALERT!!!***

Indonesia
Indonesia’s Mangroves On Fast Decline

Vietnam
Vietnam hits out at US over shrimp duties

S. ASIA

India
NGO opposes Sahara project in Sunderbans
A brief report on Save Mangrove Day

Bangladesh
Tk 17.44 cr fish washed away in Satkhira
Bangladesh Sees Tiger Numbers Up in Mangrove Swamps
Allocate 100 acres of khas land to each shrimp farm
A big boost to shrimps in sight
Gas pipeline through National Park?

Sri Lanka
National Fisheries Policy on the cards

EAST ASIA

China
Chinese taste for endangered seafood growing

LATIN AMERICA

Colombia
Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta Ramsar site,threatened

Caribbean
Human Activities, Hurricanes Threaten Two-thirds of Caribbean Coral Reefs

NORTH AMERICA

USA
CNN Tackles Problem Of Shrimp

STORIES/ISSUES
USDA ISSUES REGULATORY ACTION ON
MANDATORY COOL
Avian flu: no need to kill wild birds
Fish meal catch ‘hits UK seabirds’

ANNOUNCEMNETS
“Ramsar Toolkit”, the Handbooks for the Wise Use of Wetlands
Peat Matters Website   News

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS
Farming the Seas scheduled to air nationally as a PBS Special
The Handbook of Philippine Mangroves -
Conference, AQUACULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT

AQUACULTURE CORNER
Aquaculture: Fishing for trouble
Pasturing Sablefish in the Pacific
Environmentally Standard Aquaculture

AROUND THE CORNER
“Happiness and Progress: Measuring Human Wellbeing in Bhutan and Canada”

FEATURE STORY
MAP Co-Founder, Pisit Charnsnoh Wins The Rolex Award!

Herds of dugongs, or sea cows, once grazed extensive seagrass meadows along Thailand’s southern coastline. Today the large, shy, slow-moving marine mammals that some people believe to be the fabled mermaids of sailors’ tales are rarely seen here – only about 200 frequent the warm waters around the Thai peninsula.

For the past 10 years, Thai biologist Pisit Charnsnoh, 60, has campaigned to save the dugong from extinction in Thai coastal waters. For him, the dugong’s decline and the hardships of life in the small fishing villages along the Thai peninsula are symptoms of the same problem: the destruction of coastal ecosystems. His enterprising remedy is to teach the villagers to know and love the dugong, then involve them in local projects to restore its coastal habitat, for the benefit of the dugong itself, other marine species and the people who rely on them for their living. For this project that will bring benefits to the environment and to the local people, Pisit Charnsnoh has been selected as an Associate Laureate.

Charnsnoh graduated from Khon-Khaen University in 1969, determined to use his newly acquired knowledge to help Thailand’s rural poor. “I didn’t want to work in a government office,” he says. “I wanted to work with the local farmers.”

His first job was with the Foundation for Thailand Rural Reconstruction, one of Thailand’s first non-governmental organisations, raising levels of health, education and self-government for rice farmers 200km north of Bangkok. In 1978 he left the foundation because of political tension with the then military-dominated government. He moved to the north of Thailand to work on a joint leadership-training project run by a non-governmental organisation and an educational institute.

In 1985 he decided to move south with his family to his wife’s home village on the Andaman Sea coast of Trang Province. There, he founded his own environmental organisation, the Yadfon (Raindrop) Association.

Yadfon’s first initiative was to involve fishing communities in restoring a 94-hectare mangrove forest. In the past 50 years, about 50 per cent of Thailand’s mangrove forests has been destroyed, either for timber or charcoal production or to make room for shrimp farms. Mangrove forests are vital elements of the ecosystems of coastal areas worldwide. Yadfon and Charnsnoh, along with journalist Alfredo Quarto, played a key role in the establishment in 1992 of the Mangrove Action Project, a network of 800 organisations and 250 scientists from 60 countries dedicated to protecting mangrove forests.

By trapping nutrient-rich sediments from coastal rivers and streams, mangroves sustain diverse communities of fish and crustaceans. Loss of the mangroves increases sediment and nutrient inflows into coastal waters, upsetting the delicate balance of a complex ecosystem.

In southern Thailand’s clear inshore waters beyond the mangrove zone, sunlight fuels the growth of lush seagrass pastures for grazing dugongs. The pastures also provide food and habitat for the fish, crabs, prawns and molluscs that feed and sustain the economies of the local fishing villages. By absorbing residual nutrients, seagrass protects nearby coral reefs against overgrowth by algae.

Large trawlers fishing illegally in the inshore zone have exacerbated the problems caused by mangrove loss; their push-nets scour the seabed, destroying seagrass and clouding the water. The destruction of the seagrass pastures, combined with fishermen’s treacherous floating gill nets, have taken a heavy toll on dugong numbers.

The dugong, Dugong dugon, is one of three surviving species of an ancient group of marine mammals, the Sirenia. Exclusively herbivorous, dugongs grow to 3.5m and 400 kg, and can live for up to 70 years. But females do not breed until their second decade, pregnancy lasts 13 months and the young may suckle for two years. Merely maintaining a stable population requires 95 per cent of adults to survive every year.

Between 1979 and 1998, 75 dead dugongs washed up on the southern Thailand coast. Charnsnoh believes these figures are a substantial underestimate. Most had drowned in gill nets. A few were killed by large fishing boats or tourist vessels; others probably succumbed to stress or starvation caused by noise, pollution and habitat destruction.

For the past 10 years, Charnsnoh and his five Yadfon staff have been working with villagers to replant Trang Province’s mangroves. “The mangrove forests were in poor condition, so people asked the government for permission to manage them,” says Charnsnoh. “Compared with nearby mangrove forests managed by the government, they’re getting better and better. People are happy with these activities, and they’re also protecting the seagrass meadows in front of the mangrove forests, because they have learned from our seminars that large areas of seagrass bring them more fish and crabs.”

Villagers now mark out the seagrass pastures to keep commercial fishing boats out – fishing is still permitted, but destructive practices like push-netting are forbidden. Dugong numbers are increasing in the restored areas.

The dugong has become a symbol of the improving coastal environment of Trang Province, but, for Charnsnoh, it is also a practical instrument for protecting the area and improving people’s lives.

Thai bureaucrats sometimes show little interest in the plight of impoverished coastal communities because poverty is common here. But they listen to requests to save the vulnerable dugong – it is protected by national legislation and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

So Charnsnoh has chosen the large, marine mammal as the flagship for his two-year campaign to take Yadfon’s message to eight other provinces where dugongs survive.

He will use his Rolex Award to fund the campaign that aims to reach 15,600 villagers in 52 fishing communities and 5,800 students in schools and colleges.

He plans to establish a national network of community groups and associations that will work with government agencies to develop projects to protect mangroves and local seagrass beds. He will use workshops and lectures by dugong experts to make villagers, students and the public aware of the dugong’s plight.

“We help people to understand and love the dugong,” says Charnsnoh. “They are then motivated to protect its habitat, and as the habitat improves, the number of fish increases, and people earn more income.”

check out this website

From: “Ellen Hines”

MAP WORKS
ANNOUNCEMENT: Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop

The third “Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop will be held at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, in Hollywood, Florida, USA, 21-24 February 2005. The training site is within a 500 ha mangrove restoration project at West Lake Park operated by Broward County. The award-winning project was designed by Roy R. “Robin” Lewis III, who will be teaching the course.

The workshop includes an introduction to mangrove forest ecology, management options and problems, and restoration design issues. The class programs are all given in a PowerPoint format, and each student is provided with a print out of the presentation and additional handouts including monitoring reports for typical restoration projects. Case studies of 5 successful mangrove restoration projects, and several unsuccessful projects, are discussed. Field trips are taken within the 500 ha West Lake Park mangrove restoration project (now 16 years old) and a new project just two years old, for a comparison.

The emphasis is on cost-effective successful mangrove management and restoration, and cost figures for typical projects are discussed and explained. The hydrologic restoration of mangroves is emphasized as the best approach to successful restoration at minimal cost (see Erftemeijer and Lewis 2000, Lewis 1999, 2000a, 2000b, Lewis and Marshall 1998, Lewis and Streever 2000, Stevenson et. al 1999, and Turner and Lewis 1997, for further discussion about hydrologic restoration of mangroves). Planting of mangroves is discussed in light of the many failures of this alone to successfully restore mangroves.

Cost for the course not including travel to Ft. Lauderdale, lodging or food is $650, due by January 1, 2005. Two qualified students are being allowed to attend for free, but these two slots are now filled for the 2005 course. This course is taught in conjunction with the Mangrove Action Project.

More information can be provided by Robin Lewis at LESRRL3@AOL.COM and www.mangroverestoration.com.

From David Lee, Global Environment Centre
sea-peat@yahoogroups.com

AFRICA
Nigeria

NEWSWATCH, SEPTEMBER 27, 2004.

WEMPCO Must Packout!

WESTERN METAL PRODUCT COMPANY, WEMPCO, INCURS THE WRATH OF THE CROSS RIVER STATE GOVERNMENT AND COMMUNITY LEADERS IN THE STATE, AND GETS AN ORDER TO MOVE OUT OF THE STATE.
By: Anza Phillips, Abuja Bureau.

ODEY OYAMA, EXECUTIVE IDRECTOR, Rainforest Resource and Development centre, RRDC, a Calabar based non governmental organization, NGO, is on war path with Western Metal Product Company, WEMPCO, over the latter’s logging activities in Okuni forest in Cross River South Forest Reserve. WEMPCO, also known as CRAFCO is a Chinese Hong-Kong multinational wood processing company based in Ikom, Cross River State.
For the past eight months, officials of RRDC have been having a running battle, sometimes resulting into physical combats with officials and workers of WEMPCO over what Oyama described as illegal logging illegal forest processing and illegal timber transportation by the company in Okuni forest.
Oyama told News watch that many communities in the area have been left impoverished by the activities of the Chinese company which stretched the limit legally allowed them by government to log by veering into the Okuni forest reserve.
The company, under the forest concessions that was granted them by the Cross River State Government, CRSG, to operate was limited to Cross River North Forest Reserve and Ikirigon forest reserve in Ikom Local Government area. The two forests put together is more than 541.45sq.meters.
The Executive Director said while members of the communities in the area were living in abject poverty, WEMPCO officials were feeding fat on the communities’ timber through illegal means.
In several other instances, he said, WEMPCO and its agents forge letters of community authority to facilitate their illegal operations. He said there was hardly any record of authentic ‘community consent’ as specified by government policy to guarantee such activities.
“WEMPCO has the tendency of using questionable community consent’ to exploit timber in community forest as well as facilitating the illegal practice of recycling one ‘single tree permit’ to harvest thousands of logs at a time, thereby evading the payment of community royalties and compensations, revenues, and taxes to the government. The company is equally guilty of under-declaring its revenue. This is a matter that should be placed immediately under investigation.” Oyama said.
In a letter to President Olusegun Obasango dated Monday August 2, under the tag Financial Crime Alert, Oyama said the activities of WEMPCO in the stated amounted to financial and economic sabotage against the people of the state in particular and the federal government in general.
He told the president that the company runs its finances on two sets of payment vouchers with different sets of serial numbers. “One set of vouchers is usually presented to government (tax authorities) for inspection while the other set is usually concealed. They also used two sets of cheque books from each of their bankers. All these schemes are designed for the purpose of evading payment of appropriate taxes.” Oyama told the president.
He appealed to the president to work in concert with the CRSG to investigate the activities of the company which he said was bordering on economic and financial sabotage. He also alleged that the company was not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria.
Newswatch learnt that the government of Cross River State by two agreements executed on July 2, 1996, granted WEMPCO Agro forest Company Ltd forest concessions to operate in Cross River North and Ikirigon Forest Reserve in Ikom Local Government area of the state.
A senior official of the board of the Cross River State Forestry Commission, who spoke to Newswatch under anonymity, confirmed that the government of the state was aware of the illegal activities of the company in the area.
At an emergency meeting of the commission on June 6, it was resolved that all forestry related activities of WEMPCO Agro-Forest Company Ltd be closed down in the area due to what he called gross irregularities perpetuated by the company and breaches of the forestry law of Cross River State and the said concessions.
These irregularities and breaches include refusal to log from its concession area; habitual patronage of illegal loggers and exportation of unprocessed wood material such as veneer and sawn timber for processing into finished products outside Cross River State. This was contrary to the original intention of locating a wood factory in Ikom. Other irregularities by WEMPCO, the official said, include acceptance of logs into the factory particularly after 6pmdespite a current ban on movement of logs in the state; and total failure to adopt environmentally sustainable forest conservation techniques.
Sequel to these the board had asked the company to cease to engage in any forestry related business within Cross River State. The company was thus given 21 days from the date of receipt of the order within which to evacuate all its plants, equipment and machinery from all forests and factory sites in the state.
Donald Duke, governor of the state had on July 7, through a law confirmed, ratified and directed that the order be implemented with utmost dispatch and vigour by the Forestry Commission, the Nigerian Police Force and other relevant parties.
Newswatch confirmed that the order has since being served on the company, but that it is yet to cease its activities in the area as stipulated by the order.
Newswatch visited the Ikom factory of the company along Head Bridge, Calabar-Ikom road, which was still operational. David Chow, the project manager declined speaking to Newswatch as he feigned ignorance to all enquiries put to him on theissue.

From: “Martien Hoogland” ma@bothends.org

ASIA
S.E. ASIA
Thailand

Bangkok Post Sept. 18 , 2004

Quick passage of Forest Community Bill sought

ANUCHA CHAROENPO
The House has been urged to speed up passage of the Community Forest Bill so it can become law during this parliamentary session.

Senate Committee on Social Development and Human Security chairman Niran Pithakwatchara said the bill has been before the House for a year since passing the upper house.

He said the bill, drafted a decade ago, aimed to encourage people in each community to take part in protecting their forests and natural resources.

Furthermore, Mr Niran said, the bill aimed to promote community rights to administer and manage these resource.

“If the bill could become law during this parliamentary session, I believe at least it would help raise villagers’ awareness about forest protection,” he said.

Over the years, poverty-stricken villagers have been hired by influential people to illegally cut down trees for sale, Mr Niran said.

The bill, once passed, will help educate villagers about the dangers of deforestation and prevent them from becoming victims of unscrupulous businessmen, he said.

Mr Niran cited the murder of Supol Sirijan, chief of Ban Den Udom village in Lampang’s Thoen district, as an example of a victim in the fight against deforestation.

Mr Supol, 58, was shot dead in front of his house on Aug 11.

 

———-

Bangkok Post Sept. 20, 2004

AWAITING JUSTICE

Villagers fear for their lives after murder

Mrs Kobkaew stands beside a board made by Ban Den Udom villagers to commemorate her late husband, who campaigned to protect the village’s community forest before he was murdered in August. – ANUCHA CHAROENPO
Struggle to save forest must go on, wife says

ANUCHA CHAROENPO

Lampang _ Kobkaew Sirijan wants her late husband to serve as an example for people fighting the way he did to protect community forests.

Mrs Kobkaew, 53, praised her late husband for his courage in carrying out anti-deforestation campaigns in which he worked with villagers of Ban Den Udom in Mae Mok sub-district of Thoen district for 15 years.

“I’m proud of him. I hope people across the country who are doing the same kind of work will keep it up. They should not be deterred by my husband’s murder. We have to unite and help one another to protect the nation’s forests the way my husband did,” she said.

Her husband, Supol, 58, was shot seven times in the back and three times in his right arm by gunmen on Aug 11 while he was about to close up his house at about 9pm.

It was believed his murder stemmed from his ongoing campaign against illegal logging in Huay Kok forest reserve in this northern province.

Just a day earlier, Supol and other community forest protectors led local police to a place where people were felling logs illegally. The police seized three logs, three motorcycles and three pushcarts. They arrested Watchara Wongtha, 15, while two others managed to flee. Police later arrested Un Wansupha, 21. Both of them were held on charges of illegal logging.

The police are now looking for Un’s brother, Chutiphan, 22, whom they suspect of murder. They said the two brothers might have held a grudge against Supol, holding him responsible for the earlier arrest and imprisonment of their father for illegal logging.

In 1992, villagers at Ban Den Udom, led by Supol, set up a committee to manage and protect the 5,000-rai Huay Kok forest reserve which had deteriorated as a result of illegal logging.

The grassroots group launched a campaign to educate villagers about the impact of deforestation and urge them to keep an eye out for illegal logging.

Cupol Sirijan
Supol and other villagers worked with local police and forestry officials on anti-deforestation operations.

They sometimes joined authorities in their search for trucks loaded with logs and houses used as storage places.

The searches had led to several arrests and confiscation of logs, which infuriated the loggers, said Mrs Kobkaew. Her husband received several death threats.

Supol’s murder had dampened the villagers’ determination to protect their forest. Mrs Kobkaew said they now stayed away from the forest, fearing for their safety.

But she said the passage of the Community Forest Bill, which would legitimise a community’s role in protecting forests, would encourage villagers to get involved in tackling deforestation again.

Mr Nikorn, 34, Supol’s and Mrs Kobkaew’s only son, said a group of financiers and influential people had hired poverty-stricken villagers to cut trees in the village’s forest.

“I will do everything to ensure justice for my father,” he said, adding that he was now worried about his mother’s safety and wanted police to provide her protection.

Phra Khru Lamai Khanthano, deputy abbot of Wat Kum Nerng in the village, said the temple used Buddhist teachings to raise villagers’ awareness about the threat of deforestation.

Phanuphong Namwong, a local environmentalist, who has worked with villagers against illegal logging, said his group would encourage villagers to fight on.

“We want them to share the responsibility in managing and making use of their own forest without interference from outsiders, especially financiers,” he said.

Pol Col Chuchai Khunkhlang-meewon, deputy commander of Lampang provincial police, said an arrest warrant had been issued for Chutiphan. An investigation was under way to find the masterminds and police had been asked to provide protection for anti-logging campaigners. “I will not let any offender off the hook,” he added.

 

———-

Bangkok Post Sept. 19, 2004

CAN SONGKHLA LAKE BE HEALED?

Nets and fish cages silhouetted against the evening light in Songkhla Lake.
The country’s largest natural lake is in danger of becoming a lifeless reminder of the cost of environmental negligence

SOMBAT RAKSAKUL
From the air, Songkhla Lake looks less like a natural lake than a sewage pond, dotted with thousands of bamboo cages, clumps of urban sprawl, industrial factories and fish farms. No fishing trawlers now ruffle the shallow floodwaters as before _ after nearly four decades of steadily declining catches it’s no longer worth their while.

Left: A villager shows prawns caught from Songkhla Lake.
Right: Dead fish float in polluted water near fishing nets in Songkhla Lake. Villagers say this is a common occurrence.
Songkhla Lake’s marine life has struggled with the poor water quality which results from factories and the impact of aquaculture, along with the nylon nets that kill millions of fish and other marine life each year. Up to 90 percent of the marine life has disappeared from the country’s biggest natural lake in Songkhla province,where fish and shrimp farming began in Thailand.

The government, provincial administrators, and local residents all agree that Songkhla Lake needs to be healed. But there has been a remarkable lack of progress despite various efforts and investments.

People living near the lake say they know what the problems are _ a decline in marine life, lower water levels and burgeoning pollution. Yet they’re not certain how best to solve them.

The government has said that resources dispatched to the province coupled with “local participation” will help. So far, they have not.
———-
Bangkok Post Sept.19, 2004

Gulf bridge project attacked as wasteful

Critics say government just ignored public consultation process

By Ranjana Wangvipula
A debate over the “gulf bridge” project was reignited yesterday as university scholars and villagers . . . questioned the need to build the controversial motorway. [To avoid heated debate], the topic [was] withdrawn from an environmental forum . to mark World Environment Day.

But the debate was on again yesterday at a forum put on by Chulalongkorn University and environmental groups. Some scholars expressed disappointment and unease with the government project.
. . .
The Environmental Research Institute was one of the academic institutions briefed on the project initiated in 2002 . . . Institute experts concluded there was no need to build a 47km bridge across the Gulf of Thailand to link Samut Sakhon province with Phetchaburi province in the South mainly because the destination was not an island, he said.

“Other institutions had pondered whether to join the project, but because of different factors, they couldn’t refuse the invitation,” said [Chulalongkorn marine scientist Supichai Tangjaitrong], since they viewed the invitation as an “order”. Despite the institute’s withdrawal, the studies proceeded with more than 150 scholars and students joining the team.

A series of public consultations were held in villages near the project site. But news reports that the government had approved the project while studies were incomplete stunned scholars and villagers.

“Researchers were strongly discouraged by the news,” said Narumon Arunotai, researcher at Chulalongkorn Social Research Institute, which was assigned to organize public consultation. . . . Many villagers lashed out at the government approval without first waiting for the outcome of forums which showed many villagers were upset by the project and more than 90% of participants in Phetchaburi strongly opposed it. . . . “They already decided to build it but pretended to let villagers have a say…. That’s simply a [public participation] show,” said an angry Boonyuen Siritham, a fisherwoman from Samut Songkhram province.

Villagers fear their marine resources will be destroyed by bridge pillars that could make pollutants circulate longer in the sea near the coast. Senior transport official Prasit Rugsayos defended the project and insisted all environmental concerns had been addressed. He said the Highways Department has hired Chulalongkorn University to make a detailed design of the bridge early this month, which could incorporate suggestions made in the environmental impact assessment report.
From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”

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Malaysia

Save Penang Island’s Last Mangroves!

***ACTION ALERT!!!***
Please help us in our campaign to preserve our only inner city mangrove ecosystem and Koay Jetty.

The “Preserve Koay Jetty   Mangrove in Penang, Malaysia” petition is now live online . Thanks to Clement Liang.

 

Now that our petition is actually live here on the web, please
put your energy into spreading the word. The concept is simple:
the more people you send to, the more people will
sign it and thus contribute to our cause.
Thank you for the support.
Joann Khaw, Coordinator
Support Koay Jetty and Mangrove Action Group
9 Sep 2004

===

To: Penang State Authorities
We the undersigned hereby appeal to Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, Penang State ChiefMinister to preserve the culturally endangered Koay Jetty and Mangrove ecosystem and to ensure the proposed development takes place without sacrificing both the Koay Jetty, embodies the only surviving living community of descendant of the Chinese Muslim Hui minority and the mangrove ecosystem, which is home to more than 30 species of birds including Northern migrants of which are protected under the Malaysian Wildlife Act.
We further appeal to the good offices of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi,Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Rais Yatim, Minister of Art,Culture and Heritage,Datuk Dr Leo Michael Toyad, Minister of Tourism and, DatukSri Adenan Satem,Minister of Natural Resources and Environment for assistance in conserving the Koay Jetty and conserving the mangrove ecosystem at the Koay Jetty.
We are not opposed to development in the area but feel very strongly that a more creative planning approach can achieve the development objective without sacrificing either the Koay Jetty or the mangrove ecosystem.
The Koay Jetty together with the mangrove ecosystem is both culturally and environmentally important in showcasing the culture and biodiversity of a historical city like George Town.
The efforts initiated by the Baiqi Koay Cultural Revitalization Ad Hoc Joint Committee, Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association, Penang Heritage Trust and Malaysian Nature Society in highlighting the cultural and environmental significance of this inner-city enclave of George Town has created greater public appreciation and awareness of the importance of such conservation efforts.
We thereby appeal to the relevant approval authorities to insert, a clause stating that the Koay Jetty and the mangrove ecosystem be preserved and incorporated into the development of the area, so as to leave a legacy for the future generations of Penang and Malaysia.
refer the website

 

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Indonesia

Indonesia’s Mangroves On Fast Decline

Copyright 2001 Inter Press Service
March 16, 2001
By Richel Dursin

JAKARTA, Mar. 16 – Indonesia’s mangrove forests are supposed to be the world’s largest, but environmentalists here say their area has been cut in half by decades of export-oriented aquaculture.

This kind of development has been encouraged by international financial institutions. Shrimp cultivation, for example, has often been financed by the World Bank and other international donors, according to studies being undertaken by environmental groups here.

This Southeast Asian country’s mangroves account for 18 percent to 23 percent of mangroves worldwide, and cover as much as 4.25 million hectares.

But activists with groups like the Indonesian Forum for Environment, locally known as WALHI, say this figure has slipped to 2.2 million hectares as large tracts of mangrove areas have given way to shrimp farms, housing and industrial areas.

“International donors such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank should stop promoting shrimp farming in Indonesia because it is destroying the country’s mangroves,” says Raja Siregar, a marine policy campaigner with WALHI.

Even the secretary general of the forestry ministry, Sudarsono, says “the destruction of the mangrove ecosystem is strongly related to the uncontrolled clearing of mangroves for shrimp and fish ponds.”

Indonesia is the world’s third largest supplier of shrimp after Thailand and China, exporting between 60,000 to 90,000 metric tons a year to the United States, Japan and Europe. Japan and the United States consume a third of the world’s shrimp production.

To keep the country competitive in this profitable industry, the Indonesian government has allocated up to one million hectares of land, mostly in mangrove forests, for the shrimp hatchery industry.

But, Siregar argues, “Experiences in other countries such as Bangladesh, Thailand, and the Philippines show that shrimp farming financed by international donors is not sustainable.”

He adds that almost all shrimp farms located in the northern coastal area of Java have failed and been abandoned by businessmen because they are no longer productive.

Not all mangrove areas can be converted into shrimp farms, but activists say many businessmen often go ahead and clear the forests anyway out of sheer ignorance.

In Lampung, South Sumatra, at least 85 percent of approximately 12,000 hectares of mangrove forests were reported to have been severely damaged by locals who used the wood to build traditional hatcheries.

But Siregar says a big part of the drive toward shrimp farming comes from encouragement from the programs of international financial institutions, citing initial findings by WALHI into shrimp farming with loans from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

As early as 1974, the World Bank financed shrimp farming in seven provinces, including West Java, Central Java, East Java and South Sulawesi. Close to 70 percent of the shrimp farms in those provinces are now abandoned, after their operators found them unsustainable due to the high concentration of chemicals and destruction of the mangrove environment, Siregar says.

The study also found that some affected farmers are choosing to convert their shrimp ponds into milkfish ponds, while others wait and hope that the destruction can be reversed.

“We’ve asked the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to reconsider the cost and benefits of shrimp farming,” says Siregar. He notes that shrimp farming, primarily for export, is not included in the government’s food security program.

Aside from the havoc it is wreaking on the country’s mangroves, shrimp farming is also a big financial burden. In Indonesia, 40 percent of the shrimp farming cost is for feeds, chemicals and antibiotics, all of which are imported and many of which harm the environment and make productive use of land and mangroves difficult.

Apart from the export potential that drives shrimp farming, mangroves are threatened by other factors such as exploitation by local communities out of poverty, lack of knowledge, or in their search for income.

Some local residents chop down the trees for firewood and contractors look for material to use in tourism projects, or clear the area completely for housing.

In the troubled province of Aceh in North Sumatra, northwest of Jakarta, local people have been slashing down mangrove trees to export the wood to Malaysia and Singapore.

Meanwhile, in Tangerang, Banten province, mangrove forests are being destroyed by domestic and industrial waste.

Here in Jakarta, the remaining mangroves in Muara Angke are under serious threat as domestic and industrial waste discharged into the capital’s rivers finds its way to these forests.

The destruction of mangrove forests partly means that vast areas are losing a natural barrier to coastal erosion by the sea. Media reports say some small isles in Mentawai Islands, some 90 km southwest of Padang, the provincial capital of West Sumatra, have been inundated by floods after mangrove forests there were damaged.

Government experts say it is not easy to revive damaged mangroves. Says the forestry ministry’s Sudarsono: “We can’t replace mangroves with other trees because it is the only plant suitable for the coastal area.”

Siregar and other activists concede that there are many reasons why Indonesia’s mangroves have reached a critical state. But they insist that the main culprit, especially on the island of Java, is shrimp farming.

According to Siregar, international donor agencies should be held responsible for any environmental destruction caused by shrimp farming, and they should consider providing grants rather than loans to rehabilitate abandoned shrimp farms, particularly those on Java.

Rehabilitating one square kilometer of mangroves costs at least $ 700. It can take up to five years to fully rid the area of chemical substances. “We urge international donors to reconsider loan programs into other useful agricultural sectors,” says Siregar.

The government has already enacted Environment Law No. 23/1997 to protect the mangrove ecosystem. But WALHI points out that law enforcement remains unsatisfactory.

Indonesia has no clear policy on sustainable shrimp farming, such as the size of mangrove areas that can be converted into shrimp farms in one location, and rehabilitation financing.

Siregar says that the government should clearly outline what is needed for sustainable shrimp farming and ways to rehabilitate damaged mangroves.

“Most of the time,” he notes, “businessmen clear mangrove areas for shrimp farms and after five or 10 years, they just leave them because they are no longer sustainable.”

 

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Vietnam

Vietnam hits out at US over shrimp duties
AFP, United Nations

THE DAILY STAR

Vietnam on Monday lashed out at the United States for imposing punitive anti-dumping duties that it said had hurt 3.5 million Vietnamese who make their living from the shrimp industry.

“Instead of receiving a stronger commitment for development assistance, developing countries have fallen victim to unfair practises in international trade,” Deputy Foreign Minister Le Conh Phung told the UN General Assembly.

“A case in point is the application of protectionist measures under the form of anti-dumping duties imposed on Vietname’s catfish and shrimp, as well as similar products of other developing countries,” he said.

“This has not only run counter to the principles of the WTO (World Trade Organisation) but also undermined poverty reduction efforts of the Vietnamese government,” he told the assembly.

From: zakir kibria

 

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S. ASIA

India

NGO opposes Sahara project in Sunderbans

Kolkata October 04, 2004

BUSINESS STANDARD

Kolkata-based non government organisation (NGO) Direct Initiative for Social   Health Action (Disha) feels that the plan of the Government of West Bengal (GoWB) to grant “conditional” clearance to Sahara mega tourism project in Sundarbans would hurt the environment of the area.

Speakers at an open discussion on this issue organized by DISHA included activists, environmentalists and geologists like Debasish Chatterjee, Subroto Sinha, Joy Dasgupta, faculty of National University of Juridical Science and representatives of NGOs.

Disha said it would protest against the conditional approval of the department of environment, GoWB, granted on July 30, 2004.

The approval has been given in keeping with existing norms.? We are trying hard to make GoWB to revoke the approval before it is sent to central government for clearance which is mandatory as it is worth more than Rs 50 crore?, said Joy Dasgupta.

Disha said a report by London based NGO ?Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)í had called upon GoWB to reject the proposal in its present form.

DISHA along with other environmental activists also protested the faulty environment impact assessment (EIA) that was conducted by private organization, Modular Consultants on behalf of Sahara, informed Dasgupta.

“The project is yet to receive approval from department of forest and central ground water board, in which case we would also urge them not to issue approval”, claimed one speaker at the forum.

Debashish Chatterjee, formerly with the Geological Survey of India claimed that the proposed facilities and amenities that have been planned would create immense ecological imbalance in the fragile and already endangered ecosystem of Sundarbans.

There has been a substantial pressure created from internationally recognised organisation, NGOs, local people of Sundarbans against this project, he went on to demand.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Sahara India Tourism Development Corporation Limited (SITDCL) and the department of tourism, GoWB for the said project in response to which the approval has been granted in July.

From: zakir kibria
banglapraxis@yahoo.com

 

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A brief report on Save Mangrove Day, July 26, 2004
Pulicat Lake, Near Chennai, India

As per the request of MAP. “Save Mangrove Day” was celebrated in Pulicat lake with forty five fisherfolk(men and women) taking procession around five fishing villages near the lake shouting slogans and conducting awareness campaign on the importance of mangroves which are vanishing in the lake day by day. Leaflets and Pamphlets on the conservation of mangroves were distributed and village mangrove action committee members spoke in the public meetings seeking full cooperation in the afforestation of mangroves in Kuruvithittu Island which is part of Pulicat Lake.

Many lake fisherfolk berth their boats in the Island before letting down their nets for catches and rest on the Island, while awaiting for the fish or shrimp to fall into their nets. Many Lake fisherfolk bring their wives to cook food in the night and women, without knowing the worth of mangroves used to cut the mangroves branches as firewoods for cooking their food, both lunch and dinner.

Therefore COPDANET decided to celebrate Mangrove Action Day in Kuruvithittu Island in the afternoon of 26th July 2004. After completing the rally, procession and public meetings in the adjacent fishing villages near Pulicat Lake, three boats have been volunteered by the fisherfolk to carry all the volunteers participating in the “Save Mangroves Day”. It took three hours to reach the island. Yet between 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm, we spoke to more than one hundred fisherfolk and their families while they were cooking food and advised them not to fell mangrove branches for fuel wood. We gave them lectures about the biodiversity and the usage of mangroves. We spoke about the eco-system, to saved environment, the valuable flora and fauna of the lake. Booklets were distributed. There was a large picnic party for all with Tea and Biscuits.

We told the fisherfolk that COPDANET will soon start afforestation of mangroves….It was a memorable evening and all of us returned with a good felling that atleast four dozens of people joined the rally and understood the significance of the Mangrove Action Day will a lot of hope for the future of mangroves growth in Pulicat Lake with strict rules for conservation.

From: felix

 

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Bangladesh

Tk 17.44 cr fish washed away in Satkhira

THE DAILY STAR

Fish including shrimp worth over Tk 17.44 crore were washed away by floodwaters in the district, according to official sources.

However, unofficially the loss was over Tk 35 crore. According to sources in the District Fisheries Department, floodwaters washed away fish from over 1,747 shrimp farms and 9,413 ponds causing loss worth Tk 17.44 crore. The worst affected upazilas are Kalaroa, Tala, Sadar and Assassuni where 1,568 shrimp farms and 7,815 ponds were completely damaged causing financial loss of over Tk 10.13 crore.

Over 300 shrimp farms were submerged causing financial loss of over Tk 3 crore. Fisheries department sources said, the loss by the flood in the district will cast an adverse impact on fish supply.

Bangladesh Fish Cultivators Association President and former minister Dr Aftabuzzaman said the deluge caused an irreparable loss in fish sector. He said, fish cultivators won’t be able to repay their huge bank loans taken against fish cultivation.

From: zakir kibria

 

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Bangladesh Sees Tiger Numbers Up in Mangrove Swamps

BANGLADESH: October 12, 2004

DHAKA – The number of tigers in Bangladesh’s mangrove swamps has risen by more than 50 to 419 in the last decade, thanks to the government’s steps to save the endangered species, the Environment and Forest Minister said on the weekend.

“The number of tigers in the Sundarbans has risen to 419 from 362 a decade ago,” Tariqul Islam told a news conference, announcing the result of a census in the mangroves early this year.

The Sundarbans, as the mangrove swamps are known, stretches into India’s eastern state of West Bengal, is about 400 km (250 miles) southwest of Dhaka and is home to a wide variety of wildlife, but its chief attraction is the tiger.

It forms a fragile ecosystem that is being ravaged by the pressures of population and the weak enforcement of environmental regulations.

Forest officials said greater surveillance against poachers and reduced human interference with wildlife had helped the tiger population to recover.

Authorities redoubled protection efforts in the mangroves after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization declared the area a World Heritage site in 1997.

Islam said census takers had scoured the 6,000-sq km (2,320-sq mile) wetlands from Feb. 26 to March 3 and collected 1,546 tiger paw prints to fix the numbers of the big cats.

They said the tiger population fell to about 362 in 1993 from 450 in 1982 because of deforestation caused by poachers and illegal loggers.

India did a census of tigers in its 4,000-sq km (1,545 sq mile) portion of the Sundarbans in January.

About three million people live in the portion of the swamps that belong to Bangladesh, and 3.5 million more in the Indian portion in the neighboring state of West Bengal.

REUTERS NEWS SERVICE

From: Darlene Schanfald

 

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‘Tk 23,630m earned from fish export last fiscal’

THE DAILY STAR

The country earned Tk 23,630 million by exporting 54,141 metric tons of fish and fish products in last fiscal year, said Iqbaluddin Ahmed Chowdhury, secretary of the fisheries and livestock ministry yesterday.

Speaking as special guest at a workshop, he said fisheries sector contributed 5.24 percent to gross domestic product (GDP) and six percent to export earnings.

Iqbaluddin said 1.3 million people earn their livelihood directly from fishing whereas 10 million people are directly or indirectly related to this sector for their income.

The workshop on ‘Fisheries Co-management: Lessons and Directions ‘ was jointly organised by World Fish Centre and the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock at Brac Centre in the city.

Inaugurating the three-day workshop, Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdullah Al-Noman said his ministry is working with the World Fish Centre to develop alternative models that seek to bring fishing communities, NGOs, and local level institutions together for improving fisheries management.

He said the community-based fisheries management approach has made significant contribution to fisheries management, habitat restoration and livelihoods of the poor fishermen in Bangladesh.

K Kuperan Viswanathan, director of Bangladesh and South Asia office of the World Fish Centre, said there are over 10,000 Jalmohals in the country which are potential water bodies for co-management in future.

Besides, the marine fisheries of Bangladesh is another potential area for this approach, he added.

The workshop has been organised to learn and share the experiences of successes and failures of the experiments of co-management around the world.

Some 120 participants from 15 countries of Asia and Africa are attending the workshop.

Chaired by Director of World Fish Centre Headquarters Mahfuzuddin Ahmed, the inaugural session of the workshop was also attended by Mohammad Nasir Uddin Ahmed, director general of the fisheries department.

From: zakir kibria banglapraxis@yahoo.com

 

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Allocate 100 acres of khas land to each shrimp farm

Frozen foods exporters urge commerce minister at a view exchange meeting in Chittagong

THE DAILY STAR

Frozen foods exporters at a view exchange meeting here recently urged Commerce Minister Altaf Hossain Choudhury to allocate 100 acres of khas land to each shrimp farm according to the government decision to help flourish the sector.

The government at a meeting at the ministry of fisheries in Dhaka in 1993 decided to allocate 100 acres of khas land to each shrimp farm, sources said. The decision was incorporated into the export policy at an inter-ministerial meeting on March 21 in 1997, sources added.

Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association (BFFEA) leaders at the meeting called on commerce minister to immediately implement the government decisions in this regard.

They also urged him for coordinated efforts and mobilisation of internal resources to increase production and expanding export of frozen foods.

According to Export Promotion Bureau sources (EPB), revenue of 390.25 million US dollar (approximately Tk 2309.21 crore) was earned from frozen food export, particularly from frozen fish, last fiscal.

Quoting EPB, sources at BFFEA said, the earning was 21.27 per cent higher than that of previous year of 321.81 million US dollar while export target for the current fiscal was fixed at 410 million US dollar.

BFFEA submitted a concept paper titled “Vision 2004-2008″ to the prime minister in March with a view to raising the revenue target to Tk 10,000 crore increasing production and export by 2008, sources said.

BFFEA Secretary General Mahmudul Hasan said, it was very much possible to achieve the revenue target if infrastructure could be developed for increasing production of raw materials (shrimp) to 2.65 lakh matric tons….

…With the change of scenario of the market, many leading frozen fish exporting countries like Thailand, China, India and Vietnam also emerging as importers, they said. There is also a scope for exporting frozen fish to some other Asian countries and expanding markets in Australia, Canada, Spain and New Zealand, they said.

They told Altaf that Thailand, China and Vietnam were producing different species of shrimp including Vannamei for the last two years. The average production of this shrimp was much higher those produced here at present.

The BFFEA leaders sought government cooperation for cultivating Vannamei.

In this regard they suggested that the government import Vannamei fries on an experimental basis.

To achieve the target set by Vision 2003-2008 both the production and supply of raw materials have to be increased several times.

This would, however, be very much possible if the government decisions are implemented and the farmers motivated to use modern method and technology in fish cultivation, they said.

They also suggested setting up two industrial zones for shrimp cultivation at Cox’s Bazar and Khulna.

They said that the modern equipment at three laboratories run by the fisheries department at Dhaka, Khulna and Chittagong for conducting anti-biotic tests could not be made operational due to lack of required experts and manpower.

The commerce minister assured them of making the laboratories operational soon and implementing the government decision to help flourish the frozen food sector.

CCCI president Amir Humayun urged the minister to open a “special desk” at the commerce ministry in this regard.

From: Zakir Kibria banglapraxis@yahoo.com

 

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A big boost to shrimps in sight

Higher yield with new technology under ATDP, virus-free fry inspire fresh hope among Satkhira shrimp cultivators:
THE DAILY STAR

Shahidul Islam, like many, had abandoned shrimp cultivation after incurring heavy losses in consecutive years. He is now back to the profession with a renewed vigor.

He achieved a tremendous success by cultivating virus-free shrimp using a new technology provided by the Shrimp Seal of Quality (SSOQ), a USAID funded project conducted by the Agro Based Industry and Technology Development Programme (ATDP) under the Agriculture Ministry.

The new technology provided by SSOQ and use of virus-free fry will revolutionise shrimp cultivation in the country, he says.

He released 30000 virus-free fries in a four-bigha (132 decimal) pond and produced 720 kilograms of shrimp in three months. He sold those at Tk 2,70,000 at the rate of Tk 375 per kg.

He earned a profit of Tk 97,000 from the first yield of the year (April to June).

“In the traditional system, I got only 85 kg shrimp in about four bigha of land last year because of virus infection”, he told this correspondent during a recent visit to his farm in Shyamnagar upazila.

The new method is environment friendly and produces virus-free shrimp, which has great demand abroad.

It is easier than the traditional method used in the district earlier.

“Production per hectare in the new method is around 1800 kgs per hectare”, said Zakir Hossain, a technologist of SSOQ extension team. SSOQ also provides technical support to farmers.

Like many in the upazila, Shahidul Islam had become loan defaulter by cultivating shrimp.

Fortune smiled on him when a SSOQ team encouraged him to cultivate shrimp again using the new technology.

Saidul Islam joined the SSOQ programme in January.

The SSOQ provides the technology widely used in most shrimp exporting countries.

This new technology is very important for Bangladesh as foreign buyers have imposed restriction on import from the country and are asking for virus-free good quality Shrimp, Zakir said.

In the new system, shrimp is cultivated in blocked pond water. It does not harm trees and crop lands in surrounding areas and retains fertility of land.

The water of the pond has to be replaced after certain periods, which needs a reservoir, Islam and Zakir said.

But the cost of shrimp feed in the new system is higher than in the traditional system because it is imported from Thailand.

It costs at Tk 75 per kg. Islam urged the authorities concerned to produce shrimp feed in the country.

SSOQ experts are now providing technical support to cultivators in Satkhira district which produces a large portion of the country’s exportable shrimps.

From: zakir kibria

 

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Sri Lanka

Daily News Oct.5, 2004

National Fisheries Policy on the cards

by Chamikara Weerasinghe
The National Fisheries Solidarity Movement last week handed over a draft policy on Sustainable Fisheries Development to Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries and Ocean Resources, N. Bambaravanage.

The draft was handed over at the Ministry by the Movement’s Convenor Herman Kumara. A paper with signatures of more than 300,000 fishermen was also handed along with the draft.

Kumara said they had presented the draft to the Committee appointed by Fisheries and Ocean Resources Minister Chandrasena Wijesinghe to work out a National Fisheries Policy.

Speaking at a press conference to explain the proposed policy, he said they had started preparing provisions for the draft policy over the last six years. “The policy is based on promoting a self-sufficient local fishing industry with focus on the development of small-scale fishermen on a broader basis,” Kumara said.

He said they had prepared this policy to defeat the previous government’s fishery policy under its program, Regaining Sri Lanka.

“The so-called, Dheewara Nawodaya under Regaining Sri Lanka was based on promoting large-scale fishing by foreign trawlers. The strategy was to bring in foreigners to make the best of Sri Lankan seas while stranding local fishermen,” he said.

The new draft stipulates labour rights for fishermen. It aims to develop small-scale fishermen, responsible for 60 per cent of the country’s fish produce,” he added.

From: “Anuradha Wickramasinghe”

 

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EAST ASIA

China

Chinese taste for endangered seafood growing

September 19, 2004

By JULIE CHAO Cox News Service
BEIJING – As China’s middle class grows wealthier, it’s not just cars and houses they’re buying. Their appetite for high-end seafood once enjoyed only by the elite, such as shark fin, abalone and turtle, is expanding enormously.

This insatiable demand is devastating marine populations, pushing some species to the brink of extinction and threatening to upset the balance of ocean ecosystems.

Conservation groups estimate that millions of sharks are killed every year, many just for their fins.

“Shark catches are increasing and are unsustainable,” said Sonja Fordham, a shark expert at the Ocean Conservancy, based in Washington, D.C. She said the populations of many shark species have declined sharply because of overfishing. “Once a population is depleted, it can take many decades, even more than a century, to come back to healthy levels.”

Sharks get caught in nets and on lines with tuna, swordfish and other seafood valued by commercial fishermen. Their fins are sliced off to dry on deck while their bodies are tossed back in the water.

Those fins are transported hundreds or thousands of miles away, mostly to Hong Kong, and are eventually cut into gelatinous strings resembling noodles, boiled for hours with some chicken stock, maybe a little minced ham and Chinese herbs, and sold in restaurants for as much $100 for a single bowl of soup.

It has been a prized luxury food in Asia for years, but increasingly, the people dining on shark fin soup are in mainland China.

Finning, the practice of removing a shark’s fins and throwing the dying animal back in the water, has been banned in U.S. waters since 2000. Still, most countries have no such restrictions, nor are there any international limits on shark catches.

Because many shark catches are unreported, no reliable data are available. Based on Hong Kong trade statistics, the shark fin market is estimated to be increasing by at least 5 percent each year, said Samuel Lee, a program officer based in Hong Kong for TRAFFIC, a wildlife monitoring network.

“All we know is that the market in mainland China is growing and growing,” Lee said.

High-priced seafood restaurants, which used to be concentrated in Guangdong, the southernmost province bordering Hong Kong, have proliferated up the coast throughout China and even into less affluent inland cities.

“The competition is more and more intense,” said He Cheng, manager of the Liu Fu Shark Fin Restaurant in Beijing. “In the past, just a few restaurants had shark fin, but gradually, it’s become more commonplace.”

These restaurants serve not just shark fin, but abalone, sea cucumber, tropical fish and freshwater and sea turtles, all species at risk of becoming endangered, said Xu Hongfa, a Beijing-based wildlife specialist at WWF, a conservation organization.

The demand for abalone, a shellfish, has driven prices up as much as 30 percent this year, said He, the restaurant manager. Much of the supply comes from South Africa, where illegal abalone poaching is ravaging coastal areas. A single abalone in a Beijing restaurant can cost as much as $120, the equivalent of more than a month’s wage for a factory worker.

Conservationists are also worried about tropical reef fish, such as grouper and Napoleon wrasse (also called humphead wrasse), once common throughout Asia Pacific but now increasingly rare due to their popularity at lavish banquets. A single fish can cost hundreds of dollars.

Peter Mous, a Bali-based fisheries expert for The Nature Conservancy says what’s happening on the coral reefs of southeast Asia is worse than the plight of the Atlantic cod, driven to near extinction by overfishing.

“Now some populations of some fish species have declined to such low levels, it’s questionable they’ll ever recover,” he said.

A study published in the journal Science last year estimated that populations of all shark species except makos had declined by 50 percent in the last eight to 15 years, and as much as 89 percent for some species, such as the hammerhead. International trade is restricted in only two species, the whale shark and the basking shark, but because of the difficulty in identifying which species a fin comes from, control is nearly impossible.

The sad irony is, few people actually seem to enjoy the taste of shark fin.

Shark fin is also valued in China because it is believed to be highly nutritious. But medical experts in China have stated that its nutritional value is a myth and not any better than drinking milk or eating other meat for protein. Its use in traditional Chinese medicine has also been disputed.

“It’s kind of hard and chewy. I prefer crab or shrimp,” said Zhang Xinyuan, a university student in Beijing who has had shark fin soup several times with her relatives. “No one I know really, really likes it. It’s more to show your status or show respect to your guests.”

He, the restaurant manager, admits that shark fin “has no taste itself.” Ordering an expensive item is mostly a way to show off, to impress a guest or client or to curry favor with someone. Such rituals are a common part of doing business in China.

“I would say 80 to 90 percent of people are ordering it out of obligation,” said Guo Xiaofeng, a computer engineer who’s dined on abalone and shark fin about a dozen times, mostly for business. “They want someone to help them with something, so they choose an expensive restaurant.”

Yet with no public awareness campaigns in China, shark fin soup is celebrated as another uniquely Chinese custom. The China Daily even published a recipe for shark fin soup a few months ago….

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”

LATIN AMERICA
Colombia

Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta Ramsar site, Colombia, threatened by uncontrolled development

The Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention, Mr. Peter Bridgewater, recently expressed his concern about a projected multipurpose port in
the municipality of Palermo (Department of Magdalena, Colombia). This project, started by the company Retramar SA, is currently without any permit or authorization and is seriously affecting the Ciénaga de Santa Marta and the Estuary Delta of the Magdalena River . . ., [which was] designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention by the Government of Colombia on the 18th of June 1998.

. . . [I]t is the largest mangrove area in the Caribbean coast of Colombia, [and] an important area for biodiversity, especially fish, birds and reptiles. . . . It was also designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2000.

With the serious impacts the ciénaga has known during recent decades from the construction of the Ciénaga-Barranquilla road (which resulted in the destruction of wide extensions of mangroves), the uncontrolled extraction of freshwater, sedimentation, contamination, and over-fishing, among others, the building of the Palermo Port will compound threats to the hydrological balance of the area. Part of the poverty currently affecting local communities living around the mangroves can be attributed to the deterioration suffered by the ciénaga, through the reduction of the fishing resources, a basic source of life for these communities.

With the aim of finding an acceptable solution for this problem, the Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention urged the Colombian Government to respect the international and national legislation on the environment. . .. The Secretary General offers all the support and technical help of the Ramsar Secretariat in studying alternative possibilities that would allow the wise use principle promoted by the Convention to be upheld.

Sebasti? Semene Guitart
Ramsar Convention Secretariat

From Dwight Peck
peck@ramsar.org
Www.ramsar.org

———-

Caribbean

WRI Report Says Human Activities, Hurricanes Threaten Two-thirds of Caribbean Coral Reefs

9/22/2004
Contact: Paul Mackie of World Resources Institute, 202-729-7684 or pmackie@wri.org; Web: www.wri.org

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 /U.S. Newswire/ — Nearly two-thirds of coral reefs in the Caribbean are threatened by human activities, according to a new report by scientists at the World Resources Institute (WRI). Additionally, coral reefs are a vital component of coastal defense against the ravages of storms and hurricanes like Frances and Ivan.

“Many reefs are subject to multiple threats, such as from over-fishing and runoff of pollution and sediments from the land. We estimate that two-thirds of the region’s reefs are threatened from these direct human pressures,” said Lauretta Burke, lead author of Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean. “The very important overarching threats of coral bleaching from warming oceans, coral disease from new pathogens, and perhaps increased hurricane frequency are additional threats that put even more reefs at risk.”

Burke and her co-author, Jon Maidens, will present their comprehensive report on Sept. 29 in Montego Bay, Jamaica during a UN-sponsored meeting that will be attended by government officials and scientists. To coincide with the meeting, the full report and other information will also be released on the Web at www.reefsatrisk.wri.org/. Until then, reporters may access a pre-release copy of the full report.

“Reefs take a battering from hurricanes, which is a natural occurrence, but the threat increases if they become more frequent. When reefs get knocked down, the cost to people is dramatic,” Maidens said. “If coral reefs are lost, replacing such natural protection by artificial means would cost coastal communities millions of dollars.”

The report utilizes WRI’s Reefs at Risk Threat Index, which uses geographic information system (GIS) data to determine reef degradation from four primary sources. This includes coastal developments such as sewage discharge, water-based sediment and pollution coming from fertilizers from farms, marine-based pollution such as those coming from discharges from cruise ships, and over-fishing.

“Human activity has undermined the health and vitality of reefs. The coral reefs I observed in the 1940s are totally different today. Sadly, none has changed for the better,” wrote noted filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau in the preface to Reefs at Risk in the Caribbean.

The analysis of coral reefs throughout the entire Caribbean an estimated area of more than 10,000 square miles (26,000 sq kilometers) used several other factors within its measurement index. For instance, when hurricanes arrive, Florida and the Caribbean nations are protected by reefs because of their ability to dissipate wave and storm energy. The authors used their index to calculate that shoreline protection from natural Caribbean reefs saves between US$700 million and US$2.2 billion per year.

“Hurricanes have been important in shaping the Caribbean. Reefs can recover from these storms, but not necessarily, and they’re less likely to recover with all the added stress from other sources,” Maidens said. “This has economic implications.”

For instance, continuing degradation of the region’s coral reefs could reduce net annual revenues from dive tourism which provided an estimated US$2.1 billion in 2000 by as much as US$300 million per year by 2015.

The authors estimate that Caribbean coral reefs provide goods and services with an annual net economic value in 2000 between US$3.1 billion and US$4.6 billion from fisheries, dive tourism, fisheries and shoreline protection services. Additionally, the report also focuses on ways all consumers can preserve reefs.

“When tourists are diving and kicking, they’re not paying attention to the reefs. It’s important for them to voice their concerns when they see something wrong being done by others,” Burke said. “Properly managed marine protected areas offer some protection for coral reefs, but at present, governments are not investing enough in these areas. Our analysis points to the high value of these resources, and what will be lost if they are not better protected.”

Another innovative feature of the report is its inclusion of the first regionally consistent, detailed mapping of these threats. These will help local, national and international organizations in setting priorities for conservation and natural- resource management.

“Actions to reverse the threats to Caribbean coral reefs can often be undertaken at very low cost, with very high financial and societal returns, even in the short term,” Maidens added.

WRI first used the Reefs at Risk Threat Index to determine reef degradation throughout the world in 1998. Five years later, it was used to measure the threats to the coral reefs of Southeast Asia, the center of global marine diversity. This is the first time it has been applied to the Caribbean or used in a region that is heavily dependent on tourism for its revenue.

“We rated 88 percent of Southeast Asia’s reefs as threatened. We only rate 64 percent of the Caribbean tropical coral reefs as threatened. However, the threat of disease, which is not included in the model, is greater in the Caribbean,” Burke said.

NOTE:
A summary of the report and illustrations are available at the Media Preview site of the WRI Newsroom, www.newsroom.wri.org

www.usnewswire.com

(c) 2004 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770

From: SAMUDRA News Alert Beta
E-mail: icsf@icsf.net

NORTH AMERICA
USA

CNN Tackles Problem Of Shrimp

To: mangroveap@olympus.net
Is Shrimp the Latest Health Hazard of the Sea?

Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 12:07:36 -0500

Industrial FishFarming — posted by anatsoulas@citizen.org

CNN Atlanta
September 21, 2004

News; International
Is Shrimp the Latest Health Hazard of the Sea?

PHILLIPS: Now to news that shrimp lovers definitely don’t want to hear.

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta on imported shrimp and an outlawed antibiotic
that might be showing up on your plate.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Americans eat on
average three-and-a-half pounds of shrimp a year, and 80 percent of that
shrimp is actually imported. New studies coming out talking about
Chloramphenicol. That’s a type of antibiotic, possibly tainting that
imported shrimp supply.

Chloramphenicol is an antibiotic that was used in feed for some time,
and the concerns about it are the following, it could lower your blood
cell count, could cause nausea and vomiting and possibly leukemia. It
could be a carcinogen, as well.

The good news is that the doses you’ll likely get in shrimp are going
to be so small that you’re unlikely to suffer any of those adverse
effects. But also worth knowing that the FDA only currently inspects
about one percent of the shrimp supply.

Now, if you’re concerned about this, it’s worth knowing that you cannot
see this, you cannot smell it, you can’t cook the Chloramphenicol out.
You can talk to your restaurant, you can talk to your shrimp supply
person about whether or not the shrimp you’re buying has been inspected.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, Atlanta.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

PHILLIPS: And the story doesn’t end right there. This and other
antibiotics may also be found in crayfish and other seafood, so
consumers may want to eat seafood from the U.S., Canada, and Europe
because they have somewhat more rigorous testing than some of the other
countries.

As for asking where your shrimp comes from, current laws don’t require
labeling, so you may not get the real story. The FDA is about to change
that. We’re planning to follow up with more, so stay tuned.

From: anatsoulas@citizen.org

STORIES/ISSUES
Shrimp Alert

They are not on schedule! The USDA calls for a six month delay in enforcing the country of origin labeling for seafood. In that time, there is a threat that it could be made voluntary if pressure isn’t maintained.

AMS No. 172-04
George Chartier (202) 720-8998
george.chartier@usda.gov
Billy Cox (202) 720-8998
billy.cox@usda.gov

USDA ISSUES REGULATORY ACTION ON
MANDATORY COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELING FOR FISH AND SHELLFISH

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2004 ññ The U.S. Department of Agriculture today issued an interim final rule for the mandatory country of origin labeling (COOL) program for fish and shellfish as required by the 2002 Farm Bill. The 2004 Appropriations Act delayed the
applicability of mandatory COOL to the other covered commodities, other than fish and shellfish, until Sept. 30, 2006.

“USDA received over 5,600 comments on the proposed rule for COOL, which have been carefully considered in developing a fair and effective interim final rule,” said Agricultural Marketing Service Administrator A.J. Yates.

Under the interim final rule, fish and shellfish covered commodities must be labeled at retail to indicate their country of origin and method of production (wild and/or farm raised). However, covered commodities are excluded from mandatory COOL if they are an ingredient in a processed food item.

Also, the definition of a processed food item has been revised from the proposed rule. Items derived from a covered commodity that has undergone a change (e.g., cooking, curing, smoking) or that has been combined with other covered commodities or other substantive food
components (e.g., breading, tomato sauce) are excluded from COOL labeling.

Food service establishments, such as restaurants,
lunchrooms, cafeterias, food stands, bars, lounges and similar enterprises are exempt from the mandatory COOL requirements.

The interim final rule outlines the requirements for
labeling covered commodities. It reduces the recordkeeping retention requirements for suppliers and centrally located retail records to one year and reduces the time during which store level records must be made available to when product is on hand.

- more -

The interim final rule will become effective six months from the date of publication. This delay will permit existing inventories to clear through the channels of commerce and allow industry members to conform their operations to the new requirements. USDA plans to conduct outreach and education activities during the first year to assist the industry in achieving compliance with requirements of the rule.

The full text of the interim final rule will be published in a forthcoming Federal Register. As an interim final rule, further comments are invited and must be submitted within 90 days of publication. Copies of the interim final rule and additional information can be found at:www.ams.usda.gov/COOL.

From:Andrianna Natsoulas

 

———-

Avian flu: no need to kill wild birds

Better biosecurity measures are essential for safer poultry production

16 July 2004, Bangkok — FAO has urged countries in Asia not to cull wild birds in response to recent outbreaks of avian influenza in China, Thailand and Viet Nam.

“Killing wild birds will not help to prevent or control avian influenza outbreaks,” said Juan Lubroth of the FAO Animal Health Service. “Wild birds are an important element of the ecosystem and should not be destroyed.”

Although it is recognized that certain species of water fowl can be a reservoir of avian influenza viruses, “to date, there is no scientific evidence that wildlife is the major factor in the resurgence of the disease in the region,” he added.

Contact:
Erwin Northoff, Information Officer, FAO
erwin.northoff@fao.org
(+39) 06 5705 3105

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia” mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

 

———-

Fish meal catch ‘hits UK seabirds’

A new report published by the RSPB, put together by Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management Ltd and the University of Newcastle, has drawn worrying conclusions.
Investigating the sustainability of two of the world’s largest fisheries,the Peruvian anchovy industry and the North Sea sandeel fishery, the report states unsustainability and inefficiency, with the additional effects of climate change, as the main factors causing drastic reductions in the numbers of breeding British seabirds.
Sandeel populations are being scuppered by rising sea temperatures knocking back plankton densities, which ultimately means less food for seabirds. Birds compete not only with sandeels, but also man, who uses the fish caught to create ‘meal’, itself used to feed fish farms, and also oils.
Dr Euan Dunn, RSPB’s head of marine policy, said: “Industrial fishing is straining the bounds of sustainablity and simply can’t keep up with the enormous future growth in demand for fish feed we anticipate from aquaculture. This report demonstrates the urgent need to relieve this ‘fish gap’ pressure by seeking alternatives to fish meal and oil, such as the development of vegetable substitutes and better recovery of waste from fish caught for human consumption”.
The RSPB calls for more research into the interplay between the fisheries and the marine environment, better stock assessment, regulation, and more efficient management of the industry.

Taken from an article by Alex Kirby.
BBC News Online environment correspondent.

From: David Ellis, The Fish For Life Foundation
davidellis@lightspeed.ca

ANNOUNCEMENTS
“Ramsar Toolkit”, the Handbooks for the Wise Use of Wetlands

The second edition of the “Ramsar Toolkit”, the Handbooks for the Wise Use of Wetlands, consists of 14 volumes containing all of the major guidance documents adopted by the Conference of the Contracting Parties through COP8 in 2002, combined with additional illustrative material such as background studies, case studies, photographs and tables. The compilation of the series, which is available in the three official languages of the Convention (English, French, and Spanish), was completed in September 2004, and the handbooks were posted on the Ramsar Web site for download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format, along with unpolished Word versions of their texts. Now the same PDF and Word texts of the handbooks are available free of charge on CD-ROM, all three languages (and including the Ramsar Manual) on one CD, and readers who wish to have a copy of their own should contact Montse Riera in the Secretariat, riera@ramsar.org.

From: “PECK Dwight” peck@ramsar.org

 

———-

Peat Matters Website   News

PeatMatters has been developed under the Outreach Component of the Project on Integrated Management of Peatlands for Biodiversity and Climate Change. It is intended to enhance understanding at global level on peatland issues by informing readers of key issues on peatlands, biodiversity and climate change, progress on the project implementation as well as upcoming events and projects.

This first issue focuses on introducing the project and some of the main activities.

PeatMatters is distributed free to peatland and climate change-related forums, networks, researchers, experts, scientists and interested individuals.

To subscribe or receive a free issue, please email to david@genet.po.my or visit www.peat-portal.net .

From David Lee, Global Environment Centre
sea-peat@yahoogroups.com

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS
Farming the Seas scheduled to air nationally as a PBS Special on NOVEMBER 18, 2004   Earth Day, 2005

Farming the Seas, our sequel to Empty Oceans Empty Nets, is scheduled to air nationally as a PBS Special on NOVEMBER 18, 2004 and Earth Day, 2005.. KQED San Francisco (our presenting station) will be working hard to coordinate the date and time with over 300 PBS stations around the U.S. Farming the Seas, recently awarded a CINE Golden Eagle, will be the first documentary to reach a national audience about the problems and potential of aquaculture. The film has the potential to inform millions of viewers about how they can help encourage sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, both as consumers and as citizens.

We are writing to request your help in promoting the national airdate for Farming the Seas to your members, associates, colleagues   friends either through EMAIL POSTCARDS (we can make, you can customize), a BANNER HOTLINK on your website, or both.

There may be opportunities to coordinate interviews/ articles that feature you or your scientists, researchers, chefs and spokespeople promoting both your organization and our film (for instance, on a call in show like KQED’s Forum with Michael Kraszny) and discussing the problems and potentials of aquaculture.

We are also open to any ideas you have for cross-marketing around the Farming the Seas National Airdate.

Thanks for looking over our request   please let us know if you’re interested in working with us to promote Farming the Seas…the countdown begins!

From: Rivkah Beth Medow steve@habitatmedia.org

 

———-

The Handbook of Philippine Mangroves – Panay (2004) by
J.H. Primavera, R.B. Sadaba, M.J.H. Lebata and J.P. Altamirano is:

- a field guide for local communities, NGOs, students, teachers and
researchers to identify 35 species of Philippine mangroves based on
plant morphology (shape, color, texture, size), and biology and ecology
(substrate, intertidal level, reproductive season)
- covers 106 pages with numerous full color photos, has a laminated cover
and handy size ideal for field use
- chapters on Importance of Mangroves, Decline and Legislation,
Conservation, Mangrove-Friendly Aquaculture, Rehabilitation

For orders, please contact:
SALES AND CIRCULATION
SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department
Tigbauan, Iloilo 5021
Philippines
Tel (6333) 511-9172
Fax (6333) 511-8709
Email sales@aqd.seafdec.org.ph

 

———-

Note: there will be a panel on Aquaculture in the November World Conservation Congress in Bangkok.

Ecosystem Management Theme
Global Synthesis Workshop
14:00-16:30, November 19th, 2004

AQUACULTURE AND ENVIRONMENT
Bringing together new partners to progress toward sustainability in aquaculture

The potential role of aquaculture, at a global level, within the fisheries sector has long been recognized, giving the potential for providing both marine and freshwater products that can offset the visible decline in fisheries resources. However, its contributions and position relative to capture fisheries remains a subject of debate.

The environmental issues emerged by the development of intensive aquaculture, including occupation of the coastal zone, combined with questions concerning quality and potential contaminants, etc., are complicated and raise concerns as to the sustainability of this sector, giving rise to a poor image for the sector.

Problems, such as the displacement of local livelihoods, the harvesting of animals from localized ecosystems and gender issues have been identified, while the global issues of food safety and human health must also be considered. Such issues are important in developing and developed countries.

The objective of this session is to bring together representatives of the aquaculture sector (institutional as well as private), specialists on conservation, scientists and representatives of local communities involved in aquaculture, for the renewal of dialogue on aquaculture and environment in order to find the way toward progress in sustainability in aquaculture.

Progress towards sustainability will require the setting and implementation of improved environmental standards and cooperation with producers to help them meet these. The GSW workshop could contribute to both by bringing together a cross-section of stakeholders and devising collaborative projects such as the development of codes of conduct and practice within the private sector.

The outputs of the session could be the commitment of the group to continue working together to achieve progress toward sustainability, and meet 2010 targets.

A team of facilitators and panelists will conduct this session. They will endeavor to answer to a series questions with the help of the participating audience. They are:

o Is aquaculture an activity that causes negative impacts on natural resources?
o Is aquaculture a polluting activity?
o Is aquaculture worse or better than other food-producing or economic activities in the coastal zone?
o Is aquaculture an activity which may replace fisheries in providing sea-food products?
o What is sustainability in aquaculture?
o Does aquaculture make positive contribution to the environment and rural livelihoods?

Through these six questions, a variety of issues and options will be discussed, such as the difference between finfish and shellfish culture, the impact of aquaculture on wild stocks (looking particularly at the feeding of fish using fish meals and oils from products of capture fisheries), the role of the carnivorous fish in the food web, the specificities of the structure of the markets for aquaculture products, the local pollution by wastes from the fish cages, the risk of introducing invasive species, the potential for disruption of the ecosystem, the quality of aquaculture products, human health risks from intensive aquaculture, and others.

From: “jurgenne primavera”
AQUACULTURE CORNER
The following article was in Nature Contents: 30 September 2004 Volume
431 No. 7008. It focuses on Calif. and Baja but also refers to the
pending NMFS draft on offshore aquaculture.

Nature 431, 502 – 504 (30 September 2004); doi:10.1038/431502a

Aquaculture: Fishing for trouble

Plans to push tuna farms out into open waters off the coast of the United States are raising an environmental alarm. Rex Dalton discovers the kind of problems these offshore ranches might cause.

In the blue waters off the coast of Baja California, Mexico, circular nets are buffeted by the teeming mass of tuna inside. Every day boats pull up to these ocean ‘ranches’ and workers toss sardines into the churning water, fattening their investments while keeping an eye out for predatory sea lions.

The bluefin tuna being tended in these pens are destined for the sushi markets of Japan, which last year paid Mexican ranchers about US$50 million for the prized fish. Such ranches are turning into big business around the world. Some countries in the Mediterranean farm the fish. And off the coast of southern Australia, more than 100
pens operated by a dozen firms are harvesting even bigger sales. Now, in the United States, legislation is quietly being drawn up to facilitate such fish-farming operations in offshore waters — beyond the environmental control of coastal states, in waters difficult for anyone to police.

This expansion has some people worried, as the history of tuna farms from Mexico to Australia shows that these ranches can cause damage to the marine environment. Coastal residents near Ensenada, Mexico, have complained in the past that some ranch operators have shot sea lions to protect their fish. And scientists are still trying to
determine whether fish-food imported to Australian tuna farms was the source of a virus that wiped out the sardine fishery along that continent’s southern coast in the late 1990s. Seabirds were starved by that disaster, and fishermen left idle.

Some fear similar losses if ranches start to sprout in deep waters far from the US coast. “The opportunity for large-scale environmental disasters is enormous,” says John Volpe, a fisheries ecologist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Volpe was one of the first
scientists to issue warnings about potential environmental damage from salmon pens off British Columbia in the mid-1990s. Such farms are now blamed for spreading disease and lice into wild populations, and polluting the local environment. “We are one season from having wild salmon wiped out by lice,” says Volpe. Now that similar warnings are being sounded for offshore tuna farms, he hopes someone will listen.

Offshore investments
But administrators at the US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), an agency within the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are enthusiastically backing the concept. NMFS officials have been drawing up legislation and formulating plans for offshore aquaculture for years, as a way to provide more home-grown fish and aid the local economy.

In recent months, the NMFS has circulated draft legislation to federal agencies for comment. The bill is designed to permit aquaculture in waters outside the 5.5-km boundary of state control, but within the 370-km Exclusive Economic Zone of the United States.

However, details of the proposal are tightly guarded: even the NMFS’s own Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC) was given only a verbal summary of the legislation when it was asked to provide guidance on the concept in August. Environmental organizations have been trying to provide input for more than a year, but say they have been given the brush-off. The draft legislation is reportedly now
close to being presented to Congress, and environmentalists fear it will slip through in the final weeks before the election.

With legislation pending, a research?business consortium is making plans for a tuna ranch in the Santa Barbara Channel off California. The consortium, led by the Hubbs?SeaWorld Research Institute of San Diego, hopes to anchor two square kilometres of nets on a former Chevron oil-drilling platform, about 20 km off the coast, and fill the nets with tuna and other deep-water fish.

The project would begin as a research facility, examining the capability of offshore farms and their environmental impact. The non-profit institute says it also has plans to extend operations to a commercial venture, using millions of dollars from fish sales to support the facility and its research. Chevron is funding the institute’s start-up costs, and offering $10 million to run the operation for three years. The oil company hopes to avoid the substantial expense of removing the oil platform completely.

California, like other US states, only controls waters up to 5.5 km from the shore, so the consortium has only needed to apply for federal permits. But environmentalists and officials in California are worried about the plans and threaten legal action if the
state gets no say on the project. “They are making a big mistake trying to circumvent our jurisdiction,” says Peter Douglas, executive director of the California Coastal Commission, which monitors coastal development. “We will go to court.”

Other states that are nervous about the environmental impact of offshore farms, such as Alaska, have sought a moratorium on development plans. In early August, MAFAC
heard a spirited debate about the offshore aquaculture legislative proposal at a meeting
in Juneau, Alaska. Environmental groups and state officials called for more study, and the advisory panel agreed with them. But they won’t necessarily get what they want: top NMFS officials in Washington DC would only say that they are taking the group’s suggestion into consideration.

High stakes
A look to the south provides a picture of the environmental issues at stake. Along the 1,600 km of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, there are already more than a dozen offshore fish farms. The Mexican government continues to grant permits for more, even though some businesses have shut down after setting up their nets, leaving empty pens that are a hazard for migrating sea-turtles and whales.

To stock the Mexican ranch, boats travel some 600 km down the coast to catch migrating bluefin tuna. The 35-kg fish are herded into a circular net, then slowly towed north to be anchored in deep water near Ensenada. The tow can take up to a month, during which time about 10% of the wild fish die or are lost from the nets.

Once the nets are anchored in the Pacific, farmers bring in food to fatten the tuna by about 25% before selling them, typically to Japan. Like most farmed fish, tuna are carnivorous. They are also quite picky, preferring sardines, and they are warm-blooded, which means that they require more food than cooler-blooded fish, such as salmon.

Tuna ranchers insist that their sardine-harvesting operations do not remove enough fish from the region to adversely affect the food chain. But some scientists are less sure, particularly given Mexico’s patchy record for controlling its aggressive fishermen.

Near the tip of the peninsula lies Magdalena Bay, a warm-water basin that is thought to be the spawning area for much of the sardine population of the west coast of North America. After years of good management in the United States and positive climate conditions, that sardine population is at its highest in decades. But this might not
last. Mexican sardine fishermen are already taking 40,000 to 60,000 tonnes of sardines a year out of Magdalena Bay, according to Mexican fishing reports. If tuna farms increase demand for sardines, the population may not withstand the pressure. “If the industry grows unchecked, it may pose a threat,” says Axayacatl Rocha Olivares, an
ecologist at the oceanographic research agency CICESE, Mexico’s centre for higher education and scientific investigation in Ensenada.

Death in the water
Another problem may arise when local wildlife comes into conflict with the commercial interests of a ranch. It seems a few wayward ranch-workers have been known to take extreme measures to protect their tuna. With each hefty fish worth $400 to $700, a single bite from a hungry sea lion can spell a huge loss. So some took to shooting
the beasts — known as los lobos, or wolves — that dared nip at their charges.

Residents of the coastal hamlet of Salsipuedes, for example, have complained that riflemen in skiffs regularly shot sea lions at nearby pens. Haksong Lee, the manager of pens operated by Aquaculture of Baja California, acknowledges that some shooting has happened in the past but says the practice was halted after higher nets were installed to thwart the pesky mammals. The Mexican environmental protection agency launched an investigation of the practice after enquiries by Nature, but so far it has not made a case against anyone.

A third concern about the tuna ranches has become apparent, thanks to farms in Australia: disease.

Back in 1995, a herpes virus hit southern Australian waters close to some tuna farms. The virus whipped across the ocean like a brushfire front, moving at 30 km a day and leaving behind it a sea of dead fish. Eventually, it was estimated that 75% of pilchards in the region died. Seabirds, from Australasian gannets to penguins, starved in the
wake of the disaster1, 2. In 1998, another virus attack knocked out many of the remaining pilchards.

Although no one has been able to prove which factors unleashed this virus, some say it came from frozen sardines or pilchards imported for the farms. “In 1995, the source of pilchards was wherever the deal was cheap,” says Brian Jones, senior pathologist with Western Australia’s Department of Fisheries. “They were coming from all over the
world.” And it was a largely unregulated trade, he says.

Tim Ward and his colleagues at the South Australian Research and Development Institute in Adelaide say the practice may have “facilitated the range shifts of pathogens that have been associated with the increased frequency of mass mortalities due to disease”3.

But no one has been able to prove where the offending 1995 virus came from. Jones and his colleagues have isolated and characterized the herpes virus from the dead pilchards. So far, the sequence matches no known herpes virus in fish elsewhere in the world.

Brian Jeffries, director of the Tuna Boat Owners Association of South Australia, a trade group for a dozen tuna-ranching groups, denies that imported fish had anything to do with the pilchard die-off. Since the 1995 outbreak, he says, bait-fish are regularly tested, and none has been found to carry a virus. Tuna ranches prefer to blame other
sources, such as leaks from the water used as ballast in passing ships.

If the bait was the origin of the virus, then there is cause to worry. More than 55,000 tonnes of bait-fish were fed to Australian farmed tuna last year; about 20% of this was imported from California, says Jeffries, and another 10% imported from elsewhere. Scientists on both sides of the Pacific are watching the California sardine imports
closely, because of a disease in those waters.

Mexican virus
A haemorrhagic septicaemia fish virus seems to be spreading up the west coast of North America, as the expanding sardine population migrates north from Mexican waters in search of food. Ronald Hedrick, who studies fish health at the University of California, Davis, has tracked this virus and says it appears to thrive in colder waters, where fish may be stressed from the low temperatures. There was a 58% prevalence of infection during a massive sardine die-off in the cold waters of Vancouver over 1998?99, for example4. “Under the right conditions, this haemorrhagic virus can contribute significantly to marine mortalities,” says Hedrick.

Disturbingly, Hedrick notes, the virus is being found in more and more species: in Alaska, the virus has been linked to a die-off of Pacific herring5. It is unclear how fast or how far such a virus is capable of spreading, he says, emphasizing the need to keep track of international shipments of frozen bait-fish.

Jones thinks Australia has managed to dodge the haemorrhagic virus so far because the waters there are too warm. But he remains worried. “A mass die-off can happen again,” he says. And if viruses can travel one way, they can travel the other — opening more
offshore farms in the United States will only open more opportunities for unregulated trade to spread disease.

Not everyone suspects that offshore aquaculture will end with mass disease and environmental problems. Some point out that, with the nets anchored out in open water, pollution will neither accumulate nor harm sensitive coastal systems. Others go so far as to say that even coastal fish farms do not do as much harm as some people claim. Although many scientists see fish pens as a source of disease for wild species, marine ecologist Donald Kent is not so sure. “Maybe the wild fish gave lice to the penned fish,” says Kent. “That is just as likely a scenario.”

Kent’s view is held by a minority in the scientific community. But his
opinions are being heard at high levels: he is chairman of
MAFAC’s aquaculture subcommittee, which advises the NMFS on policies
such as the proposed offshore farming legislation. Kent is
also president of the Hubbs institute, which is playing such a major
part in the proposed farm on the disused oil platform. Kent sees his
institute’s programme as a way to meet national economic goals for
farm-raised fish. “The detractors are missing the point,” says Kent.
“The demand for seafood is increasing; it’s not going to go away.”

Any experience with offshore farms in the United States is limited.
There have been a few marine demonstration projects, but most were
close to shore and raised fish on a small scale, making them poor tests
for offshore ranches. The one pilot programme that did take place
in waters far out in the Exclusive Economic Zone, in the Gulf of Mexico
off Alabama, was wiped out by a storm.

This leaves proponents unable to convince critics that offshore farms
would be environmentally benign. They can only point to the
economic successes of other tuna farms, and emphasize that an expansion
into deep waters should help the United States compete in the
global fish market.

The lack of experience likewise leaves critics unable to convince the
authorities that deep-water fish farms will be a disaster. But
environmental watchdogs, such as the Institute for Agriculture and Trade
Policy, based in Minnesota, continue to argue that these dreams
of economic success court environmental trouble. If others make money
out of such farms, they point out, perhaps this is because of lax
rules that allow for short cuts in their management — which is precisely
the sort of situation that creates environmental fall-out.

REX DALTON
Rex Dalton is Nature’s US West Coast correspondent.

From: “Greg McCormack” Greg.McCormack@noaa.gov

 

———-

U.S. Salmon Network

Environmentally Standard Aquaculture

NOTE: there is a lot of effort being put into “environmentally friendly
standards” by aqua groups. as if it were some sort of solution, Des Nobels
in a letter to the editor, shows these VOLUNTARY conventions are pretty
meaningless. Mike Skladany

The Daily News (Prince Rupert)
Thu 07 Oct 2004
====

“To the editor,

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries: the province just released
its 2003 Joint Annual report on finfish farm inspections and compliance.

The ministry’s new release of Sept. 30/04, would have us believe that the
salmon farming industry in B.C. is demonstrating a high level of compliance
with “many” of the requirements that govern their operation (the laws), but
what it neglects to mention is that they are out of compliance, breaking the
law with many others.

We have done some reviewing of our own and here are some of our findings
from the other perspective:

- 54 per cent operating their business outside of their basehold, illegally
using public lands.

- 30 per cent are without adequate sewage treatment.

- 33 per cent are operating without a proper water licence.

- 30 per cent are out of compliance with fuel storage requirements.

- 14 per cent are operating over their legal production limits.

- 15 per cent with inadequate net cage inspection records.

There were 181 investigations launched and 17 have been fined as much as
$200.00 and many others have been issued letters of warning.

In truth, it would appear that the salmon farming industry has some distance
yet to go before we can consider them in compliance and until such time they
are operating illegally and pose a significant threat to our wild salmon
stocks and our ocean environment.

Des Nobels,
T. Buck Suzuki Environment Foundation”

The MAP News, 145th Ed., 15 Sept 2004

Dear Friends,

This is the 145th Edition of the Mangrove Action Project News. Please consider the following rather urgent request from MAP:
MAP SEEKS TO MATCH A $5000 GRANT

Dear MAP Supporters,

Top of Form

You can help MAP match a $5,000 grant from two long time supporters. If you donate now to MAP the value of your contribution will be matched till we reach our goal of $10,000!

Your generous support for our 2004 Matching Fund, will among other things allow Mangrove Action Project to launch our Migratory Bird Flyway Protection Campaign to halt destruction of important migratory stopover sites in the mangrove wetlands found along their long migratory routes where they must feed and rest before continuing on. Without these key stopover sites, millions of migrating waders, shorebirds, waterfowl and land birds will be endangered, and whole migrations could be disrupted and entire species extinguished in a short time.

Please give to MAP today, earmarking your contribution to Protect The Mangrove Flyways!

Additional Note: Our 2005 Children’s Art Calendars are now available; these make great gifts for the new year! Please order your calendars now, and support MAP’s important efforts!

For the Mangroves!

Alfredo Quarto,
Mangrove Action Project

Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.

Contents for LATE FRIDAY NEWS, 142nd Edition, 15 September 2004
FEATURE STORY
Two Important Shrimp Campaigns Try To Reach The Hearts And Minds Of Consumers

MAP WORKS
MAP Seeking Professional Development Coordinator
MAP Launches Program To Protect Migratory Bird Flyway Routes
Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop ENJOYABLE WAYS TO HELP SUPPORT MAP
MAP’s Children’s Mangrove Art Calendars for 2005 Now Available!!!
Work-Study Tours In the Mangroves

AFRICA
Mozambique
Prawn Catch in Decline

Tanzania
Women save Mtwara coastline by growing mwani

Nigeria
Shell Must Pay Compensation For Damage Done

ASIA
S.E. ASIA
Thailand
CHAROEN MURDER: Suspect bailed, then nabbed on land charge
Charges sought against five
SHRIMP EXPORTS: Farmers want EU tariff cuts
Phetchaburi villagers to mount protest

Malaysia
Save Penang’s inner city mangrove ecosystem and Koay Jetty.
***ACTION ALERT!!!***

Indonesia
MANGROVE CASE STALLED AGAIN
Spurred by Illness, Indonesians Lash Out at U.S. Mining Giant

Vietnam
Denmark helps to establish Cu Lao Cham marine reserve
S. ASIA
India
INDIA TO EXTRACT HYDROCARBONS
IN SUNDARBAN FROM JANUARY

Bangladesh
Report on SBCP Watch Group
Organic farming can up shrimp export by 25pc
Two policemen hurt in gunfight with pirates in Sundarban

Pakistsan
Sustainable fishing policy demanded

E. ASIA
China
Hong Kong birding gets major tourism push

Japan
International Conservation Groups Call on Bush & Koizumi to Save the Okinawa Dugong
LATIN AMERICA
Brazil
New Shrimp Virus Finds Ready-Made Home In Brazil
Brazil: Fishermen shot and beaten during brutal attack by shrimp farm gunmen
STATEMENT OF FORTALEZA

Guatemala
Guatemala: Progress in the Wake of Terrible Violence

NORTH AMERICA
USA
Shrimpers net victory but they still need friends
STORIES/ISSUES
New data show sizeable drop in numbers of wasted fish

ANNOUNCEMENTS
EJF film uncovers the hidden cost of Brazil’s shrimp farming boom
Farming the Seas, scheduled to air nationally as a PBS Special on NOVEMBER 18, 2004
WEBSITE LAUNCHED FOR WOMEN IN FISHERIES
A NEW WEBSITE AGAINST BILATERAL FREE TRADE & INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS
The Wetland Conservation Awards

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS 
The Handbook of Philippine Mangroves
The Environmentalism of the Poor: A

AQUACULTURE CORNER
Seattle company gets funding for closed systems that prevent sea lice in salmon farms
Merger to make largest fish-farming group

FEATURE STORY
Two Important Shrimp Campaigns Try To Reach The Hearts And Minds Of Consumers

1) PUBLIC CITIZEN CAMPAIGN COMMENCES IN USA

Encouraging the shrimp aquaculture industry sets a troubling precedent

Encouraging the shrimp aquaculture industry sets a troubling precedent in the U.S. (“Changing the way consumers feel about foodfish,” Aug. 26). This relatively new industry entices consumers with rock-bottom prices, but the health effects from eating farm-raised shrimp may not be worth the bargain deal.

It is neither inevitable nor logical, as Karl Wickstrom says, that our food supply is becoming so industrialized. Rather, there is a concerted effort from the large agribusiness industry to produce as much food as possible for the lowest overhead, resulting in an increased profit margin, at the expense of consumers, small-scale producers, and the environment. Money is driving this new path, not natural evolution.

Consumers don’t benefit from these corporate profits ñ instead, new studies show they are suffering from the side effects of large-scale operations that p rio ritize earnings over the quality of the meat or seafood you’re eating. Cancer causing toxins in seafood, E. coli in beef, salmonella poisoning in chicken: All of these food scares are directly induced by industrialized agriculture.

Educated consumers should use their buying power to seek out safe alternatives like wild-caught shrimp off the coast of South Carolina ñ not farm-raised seafood that may negatively impact their health.

Wenonah Hauter, Director
Public Citizen’s food program

From: Andrianna Natsoulas anatsoulas@citizen.org

2) Environmental Justice Foundation Intensifies Its Consumer Campaign in the UK

Environmental Justice Foundation ö News Release

EJF film uncovers the hidden cost of Brazil’s shrimp farming boom

A new film uncovering the hidden environmental and social cost of Brazil’s shrimp farming boom has been unveiled as part of a campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of shrimp production on the country’s ecologically important coastal regions.

Produced by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) and the Forum for the Defence of Ceara’s Coastline, the 15 minute film was launched at the recent Second Regional Assembly of the Redmanglar, held in Fortaleza, Ceara state, which brought together representatives of 14 Latin American countries to discuss resistance to threats to the region’s wetland habitats, including shrimp farming.

The film, based on footage obtained during EJF investigations in the North-Eastern state of Ceara during July and August 2004, reveals a catalogue of environmental and social abuses connected to the expansion of shrimp farming in the region, including:

Massive (and previously unreported) destruction of mangrove and carnauba forests in order to make way for new shrimp-producing ponds
Pollution and flooding of agricultural land with salt water by ever expanding shrimp farms
Depletion of wild fish stocks threatening food security for Ceara’s coastal communities

Misuse of vital water supplies, including evidence of a major shrimp farm diverting water from a river to feed shrimp ponds whilst local inhabitants have no drinking water available

Indifference from within the shrimp farming community; undercover film of one shrimp farmer shows him casually acknowledging problems caused by the industry

Aerial footage included in the film shows how once intact coastal ecosystems, including mangrove forests, have been replaced by vast construction sites as shrimp farming companies expand their boundaries, frequently unlawfully or with compliance of the authorities. The film also contains footage of bulldozers in action felling carnauba forests, and of a forest that has been burnt out by shrimp farm companies.

Mangrove forests are one of the world’s most threatened habitats. It is estimated that over half of the world’s mangroves have been destroyed and they continue to decline at an alarming rate. Shrimp aquaculture development has been a major cause of recent mangrove loss, and it has been estimated that it may have been responsible for as much as 38% of global loss. In some countries it is the greatest threat to mangrove ecosystems.

Destruction of mangroves leaves coastal areas exposed to erosion, flooding and storm damage, alters natural drainage patterns, increases salt intrusion and removes critical habitats for many aquatic and terrestrial species, with serious implications for biodiversity, conservation and food security. Carnauba forests provide an important economic resource for rural communities, providing them with materials for the production of wax, straw and other saleable products.

The film contains testimony from inhabitants of Ceara’s coastal communities explaining some of the negative impacts of shrimp farming in the region.   Villagers are filmed explaining how wild fish stocks have become reduced since large scale shrimp farming began in the region and how the loss of coastal forests has severely affected the availability of basic resources such as wood for firewood, for building and for other artisanal uses. Others describe to investigators how previously fertile land that was once used for growing crops has become economically redundant after being degraded by salt water flooding from shrimp farms.

Last week tension in the region over the expansion of shrimp farms grew considerably after six fishermen and community activists were shot during a brutal attack by gunmen reportedly hired by a leading shrimp farm company, Empresa Joli Aquicultura. Other inhabitants of the village of Curral Velho, near Acarau, about 270 km north of Fortaleza, were kidnapped, handcuffed and beaten during the incident which happened on Tuesday 7th September.

A spokesman for EJF today said: Brazil’s shrimp farming industry is out of control. Our investigations — and last week’s shootings — illustrate clearly why urgent action is necessary to eliminate the environmental and human consequences from shrimp farming. Unfortunately the situation in Brazil mirrors what is happening right across the developing world, where a familiar  and shocking pattern of ecological and human rights abuses follows the expansion of shrimp farming.

Brazil is now one of the world’s major produces of farmed shrimp. In 2000, according to the Brazilian Association of Shrimp Producers, the country produced 25,000 tonnes of farmed shrimp worth US$ 175 million, much of it for export to North America, Western Europe and the Far East. Spain is Brazil’s largest market for shrimp, followed by France and the UK.

(MAP Editor’s Note: In 2002, this production had risen dramatically to a purported 66,000 metric tons of shrimp, and the total production for 2003 was estimated to be around 90,000 metric tons according to the industry report World Shrimp Farming, 2003 by Bob Rosenberry)

Ceara is the country’s third largest shrimp producing state, producing almost 5000 tonnes of the seafood from farms operated by at least 36 companies. In Brazil overall, at least 6,250 hectares of land has been turned into shrimp farms. Over the next few years, shrimp production in the country is expected to expand significantly.

For more information or copies of the public awareness film (currently available on DVD, in Portugese), contact EJF on 0207 359 0440 or 07977 239 406

For detailed background on EJFâs shrimp campaign, copies of all reports documenting international investigations into shrimp farming, news releases and campaigning material, see www.ejfoundation.org

EDITORS NOTES:

EJF is a London-based environmental and human rights organisation that has undertaken global in-depth investigations into the impact of shrimp production. EJF is currently campaigning for fundamental change in the way shrimp (also known as prawns) is produced.

Shrimp farming is worth US$6.9 billion at the farm gate and US$50-60 billion at the point of retail

Around one third of global prawn production is from farming (the remainder are wild-caught).

The second General Assembly of the Redmanglar conference took place in Fortaleza between 30th August and 4th September 2004. see website for more info.

Shrimp are farmed in about 50 countries – 99% of farmed production is from developing countries. Leading producers (2000) were Thailand, China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Ecuador, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Mexico and Brazil.

In a few countries, such as Malaysia and China, up to 50% of farmed shrimp are consumed domestically, but for most of the leading producers, shrimp are farmed for export, mainly to Europe, the USA and Japan.

In 2001, the UK imported 83,196 tonnes of shrimp worth over £353 million. 43% came from Asia and Oceania; 40% of the total were warm-water shrimp.

Professor Ivan Valiela and colleagues at the Boston University Marine Program reported (2001) that conversion to shrimp aquaculture is responsible for 38% of total mangrove destruction, and that ‘shrimp culture is, by a considerable margin, the greatest cause of mangrove loss’

In at least 12 countries, wetland sites listed as having international importance under the Ramsar Convention have been damaged or destroyed.

Harmful chemicals include antibiotics that persist in the environment and others such as chloramphenicol which are banned for food production by the EU and the USA because of severe risks to human health (links between their use and diseases such as aplastic anaemia and leukaemia). Pesticides such as endosulfan that are proven to be highly toxic and fatal to marine and other organisms are widely used.

There have been incidents where banned antibiotics have been discovered in shrimp consignments entering Europe (food safety agencies test consignments and have rejected or destroyed contaminated consignments).

The terms ‘shrimp’ and ‘prawn’ can be used interchangeably – EJF makes no distinction between the two.

From: “Andrew Wasley” <andrew.wasley@ejfoundation.org>
MAP WORKS
IMAP Seeking Professional Development Coordinator

Mangrove Action Project is now seeking to fill an important new position within our staff for an experienced and dynamic Development Coordinator. This person will be responsible for fundraising and implementing a comprehensive development and public relations program for MAP. Previous related work with non-profits is required, as are strong communication and organizational skills and experience in fundraising, including grant writing, membership drives and organizing public events.

For more details, please write MAP at mangroveap@olympus.net, or call at 360-452-5866

MAP Launches Program To Protect Migratory Bird Flyway Routes

Mangrove Action Project has recently launched a new campaign that aims to address the serious issues affecting migratory bird flyways, especially focusing on important stopover sites where birds feed and rest in the mangrove wetlands. These stopover sites are essential in ensuring these many diverse species of migratory birds survive their long, arduous flights between, for example, North and South America, or between Africa and Eutrope, as well as within greater Asia.

We at MAP are quite concerned that the rapidly expanding shrimp farming industry is destroying large swathes of coastal wetlands, including the mangrove forests, the mudflats and salt flats–all of which are important parts of the mangrove ecosystem. Literally, millions of migratory birds– from waders and land birds, to water fowl and shorebirds– are dependent upon these migratory flyways and those associated key stopover sites for their refueling and rest stops necessary to complete their thousands of miles journeys. If these sites are ruined or developed, then these myriad species of birds may be endangered.

Dr. Gilberto Cintron of the US Fish and Wildlife, International Division has strongly cautioned that if this trend continues, whole species of migratory birds could disappear overnight, because their traditional rest stops are being lost to unsustainable developments. Shrimp farming along the coast of Brazil is of special concern, because it has taken off like a wildfire along Brazil’s extensive coastline. Little control or enforceable regulation exist there. The shrimp industry is also expanding at an accelerating rate in Venezuela and other parts of Latin America, Asia and Africa, affecting in the process countless migratory bird sites–perhaps irreversibly damaging these sites and endangering many bird species.

MAP’s campaign will involve other NGOs and local communities from around the world interested in protecting migratory birds. An active international coalition is now being formed to address these issues. If you are interested in helping to support this campaign, please contact MAP at mangroveap@olympus.net. Your help and generous support are needed!

AFRICA

Mozambique

SAMUDRA News Alert Beta ICSF <icsf@icsf.net>

Prawn Catch in Decline

ALL AFRICA
Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)

August 25, 2004

Maputo

The prawn catch in Mozambique’s most productive prawn fishery, the Bank of Sofala, has declined substantially, according to figures reported in Wednesday’s issue of the Beira daily paper “Diario de Mocambique”.

Statistics from the Ministry of Fisheries, announced at a workshop on the Bank of Sofala, held in Beira, show that in 2003 the prawn catch was 7,117 tonnes – the lowest figure since 1994, and well below the 8,000 tonne figure for industrial fishing that used to be regarded as sustainable.

It is unlikely that there will be any recovery this year either. Fishing companies are finding it difficult to meet the prawn fishing quotas granted by the ministry, and the average size of prawns caught has declined.
Relevant Links

The reasons for the decline are not clear. The government has, in recent years taken measures to conserve prawn stocks, with restrictions on the fishing season and the type of vessels and equipment that can be used. Yet these do not seem to have worked.

Environmental factors could be involved, including the destruction of coastal mangrove swamps which act as nurseries for crustaceans. Furthermore the changes in the flow of the Zambezi river, caused by the giant Cahora Bassa dam, and the resulting decline in the amount of sediment the river carries into the Indian Ocean, may have had a serious impact on prawn stocks. Prawns were once Mozambique’s most important export, but in recent years they have lost this position to the aluminium ingots produced at the MOZAL smelter on the outskirts of Maputo.

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia” <mapasia@loxinfo.co.th>

======================================

Tanzania

SAMUDRA News Alert Beta ICSF <icsf@icsf.net>

THE GUARDIAN

Women save Mtwara coastline by growing mwani

2004-08-31 07:10:21
By Correspondent Rebecca Wanjiku

At a market in the southern coastal town of Mtwara, women hurry from the shores of the Indian Ocean with their plastic containers firmly on their heads, filled with the seaweed locally known as mwani.

They are heading to the communal market where they sell their wares to fishermen and women from neighbouring villages. It is from the sale of this seaweed that residents get their daily income as well as sustain the fish in the ocean.

Mwanashuru Oga is one of the women who advocates and teaches those interested how to grow and harvest mwani.

To her, seaweed farming is beneficial to the marine environment and a source of livelihood too.

ìWith this kind of farming, women have been economically independent and the fish population is growing as well.

We sell the seaweed to fish farmers who have ponds in the villages and the venture has proved successful,î says Oga.

According to Oga, mwani is also used to produce varnish for wood products and in traditional medicine.

The campaign for residents to cultivate the weed heightened in the late 1990\’s when the fish population had diminished due to dynamite fishing and cutting of the mangrove trees which are important for marine life.

According to the Tanzania Coastal Management Partnership (TCMP) Programme, dynamite fishing, or blast fishing, is a profound and widespread threat to coral reefs.

Blast fishing kills fish indiscriminately and destroys living coral. Repeated blasting creates vast deserts of loose coral rubble largely devoid of marine life, TCMP notes.

Oga says dynamite fishing reduces the fish population because it kills even small fish and it also causes diarrhoea after eating fish caught this way, probablyî, due to substances in the dynamite.

In the worst case, Oga says dynamite has even killed amateurs when they delay in releasing the dynamite after lighting the fuse; then it blows up the fishermen instead of the fish.

ìThere are some instances when people have died or been maimed in the process of detonation,î she adds.

Research from the Coral Reefs Rehabilitation Programme in California, US indicates that corals use the sunís energy and minerals from seawater to secrete limestone skeletons which provide habitat and shelter for fish and other reef animals.

Accumulation of coral sediments over thousands of years, Eco Reefs says, creates tall oceanic islands and extensive barrier reefs able to withstand the most powerful storms.

For the people of Mtwara, the existence of fish and other marine creatures is important economically.

Lameck Kinyunyu, Mtwara District Natural Resources Officer, says that the community depends on fish, either as fishermen or through trading in it.

Granted that Mtwara and Lindi regions share half of the entire Tanzanian coastline, residents came together in Sudi Village in 1994 for a workshop that identified reasons why the coral reefs are being exploited by dynamite fishing.

Having recognised the ugly practice and mangroves cutting as the main causes of diminishing fish populations, they decided to be more vigilant and report culprits to law enforcement authorities. Pursuant to the workshop, six people visited Kuloa Village in Zanzibar and gained skills on planting and harvesting mwani seaweed.

The Rural Integrated Project Support (RIPS) Programme facilitated the visit to Kuloa, which is part of bilateral co-operation between the governments of Tanzania and Finland.

Oga was the only woman on the training visit to Zanzibar, and she has managed to recruit women in the 24 branches in Mtwara that form the community based Environmental Conservation and Management Project, part of which has to do with mwani seaweed fanning.

Kinyunyu says women make up 80 per cent of branch membership. Both Kinyunyu and Oga agree that the participation of women in the seaweed farming has improved their economic status and reduced dependence on men.

Perhaps the enthusiasm exhibited by women was because they were the ones mostly affected after the ban on dynamite fishing.

The effects on women and youth are contained in a book published by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland in 1998.

In the book entitled Paths for Change, Experiences in Participation and Democratisation in Lindi and Mtwara Regions, it says that wealthier fishermen can afford large boats for deep sea fishing while women and youths who are mainly resource poor could only engage in ëlow capital fishingí.

They turned to dynamite fishing because they could not earn enough fishing in any other way.

ìWith a vigilant community, dynamite fishing subsided as those who engaged in it got alternative sources of income.

The community was empowered to say ëNoí and to expose those still practising it,î adds Kinyunyu.

Kinyunyu says communities in Mtwara had improved their livelihood and reduced poverty. One kilogramme of mwani is sold at 200/-, and Oga says on an average day, farmers can sell mwani worth 30,000/-.

Though dynamite fishing was dying off, Kinyunyu admitted that the practice is crawling back. However, he adds, communities are up in arms against the practice ìbecause they already know the dangers posed.î

Resumption of dynamite fishing is also confirmed by Gratian Luhikula, a Liaison Officer at TCMP who says that in the 1980s and 1990s, ìdynamite fishing had turned into a scourge evading practical solutions in Tanzania.î

ìThough it took concerted efforts between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Navy police, the practice is showing signs of resumption,î Luhikula says.

He adds that the practice is soon going to be on rampage, adding that it could zap the whole coastline from Tanga to Mtwara.

In the case of Mtwara, Oga has her story to tell. Her house was reduced to ashes by arsonists aggrieved by her decision to spearhead a campaign against resumption of the illegal practice.

But she is determined to silence her critics by educating people about the effects of dynamite fishing on the community and the marine ecosystem.

One challenge faced in the community is environmental conservation. As Kinyunyu and Oga say, residents are yet to establish the importance of protecting the marine ecosystem vis a vis the daily needs of food and income.

The problem of making a sustainable livelihood from the coral reef remains. Seaweed farming is one way of helping to make sure that the children and grandchildren of the women of Lindi and Mtwara Regions can still take fish from the reef.

Environmental conservation is also coupled with lack of systematic surveillance from government authorities.

The battle has been left in the hands of ordinary members of the community who are determined to fight tooth and nail to protect the marine environment.

The story of Lindi and Mtwara shows how people are determined to survive beyond dynamite fishing, and are seeking alternative ways of earning income.

It also shows how more concerted efforts between locals and government are needed to protect and conserve the environment.

SOURCE: Guardian

From: <mapasia@loxinfo.co.th>

================================

NIGERIA: August 27, 2004

Shell Must Pay Compensation For Damage Done

LAGOS – Nigeria’s Senate has passed a resolution asking Shell’s Nigerian unit to pay $1.5 billion in compensation to oilfield communities for pollution, a Senate spokesman said.

Shell Petroleum Development Corp. (SPDC), a unit owned by Royal Dutch/Shell (RD.AS: Quote, Profile, Research) (SHEL.L: Quote, Profile, Research) , said the resolution was not binding unless backed by law.

“The motion was overwhelming passed and the Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) was asked to monitor compliance,” a Senate spokesman said.

SPDC operates through a joint venture in Nigeria in which it owns 30 percent while state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. has 55 percent. France’s Total (TOTF.PA: Quote, Profile, Research) owns 10 percent and Agip, a unit of Italy’s ENI (ENI.MI: Quote, Profile, Research) , has five percent.

“This resolution has not been communicated to SPDC,” the company said in a statement, adding that the resolution would be binding “only if the law backs it”.

A Shell source said the case would probably end up in the courts.

The passage of the resolution through the Senate on Tuesday followed a petition by members of the Ijaw tribe in the southern Bayelsa state against Shell. It was presented to the lower House of Representatives in 2003 and reviewed by an independent legal advisory panel set up by the lower house.

According to the resolution, the Anglo-Dutch giant is expected to pay $1 billion now and the balance of $500 million in equal instalments over the next five years.

ACCUSATIONS

Communities often accuse Shell of allowing its oil to spill into the rivers and swamps of the delta, spoiling crops and driving fish away. Shell says spills are often caused by saboteurs trying to steal the oil for sale by international criminal syndicates on the world market.

Shell’s image in Nigeria was battered in June by an external consultant report it commissioned which said the company fed poverty, violence and corruption in the Niger delta region. Consultants WAC Global Services warned in the report that increasing criminalisation of the delta could ultimately force the Anglo-Dutch firm out of the region.

Shell executives acknowledged it was difficult to operate ethically in the region that produces most of Nigeria’s over 2 million barrels per day oil output and that its attempts at community development “had been less than perfect”.

The company’s efforts to throw off its image as an environmental despoiler and supporter of corrupt regimes have failed to deflect criticism of its conduct there, especially in the 1990s.

The image crisis over Nigeria last came to a head in 1995, when Shell was linked by international campaigners to the military government of Sani Abacha which executed a delta activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa.

In January, the charity Christian Aid criticised the oil giant for slow and inadequate oil spill clean-ups, badly implemented education, health and infrastructure projects, and for making “a-stay-at-home” payments to militants in an attempt to keep them from disrupting their activities.

REUTERS NEWS SERVICE

LESrrl3@aol.com
ASIA

S.E. ASIA
Thailand
Interesting that the 3 persons who organized and paid the two gunmen for Charoen’s murder are a lawyer, a provincial councilor, and former sub-district leader. What does that tell us about officials of authority?

———————

Bangkok Post Aug.26, 2004

CHAROEN MURDER: Suspect bailed, then nabbed on land charge

TUL PINKAEW

A key suspect in the murder of environmental activist Charoen Wat-aksorn was apprehended on land encroachment charges as soon as he was released on bail on Tuesday.

Forestry police arrested Jua Hinkaew, a former kamnan of tambon Bor Nok in Prachuab Khiri Khan, outside the Criminal Court in Bangkok as his family and friends were congratulating him on his bail release.

A recent inspection by forestry police showed that 931 rai of public land in Bor Nok have been turned into crab and prawn farms by a group of encroachers. Warrants have been issued for the arrest of 10 people on encroachment charges including Mr Jua and his son, Manote Hinkaew.

Mr Manote, a provincial councillor of Muang district, is also a suspect in Charoen’s murder.

Before Mr Jua’s arrest on Tuesday, all the other nine suspects had already turned themselves in to face the encroachment charges.

Forestry police chief Chatkanok Kaeusangsong said only cattle grazing was allowed on the land in question.

The crab and prawn farms run by the encroachers had discharged waste water straight into the province’s main river, said Pol Col Chatkanok.

Charoen had led protests against the encroachment on the 931-rai land plot.
————————

Bangkok Post Sept.3, 2004

CRIME – ACTIVIST’S MURDER

Charges sought against five

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) yesterday sought the arraignment of five suspects in the June 22 murder of environmental activist Charoen Wat-aksorn in Prachuap Khiri Khan on charges of involvement in premeditated murder and masterminding the killing.

Sombat Amornvivat, the department’s director-general, yesterday handed a 1,724-page investigative report on the case to the Office of the Attorney-General, and requested the prosecution file the charges against suspected gunmen Saneh Lekluan and Prachuab Hinkaew, lawyer Thanu Hinkaew, provincial councillor Manote Hinkaew and ex-kamnan Jua Hinkaew.

Atthapol Yaisawang, chief of the special litigation department, said a panel led by senior prosecutor Jarungkiat Phasipol had been set up to handle the case and study the report, and a decision was expected by Sept 22.

Pol Gen Sombat said the DSI’s conclusion was based on evidence and statements of 92 witnesses that the murder was motivated by Mr Charoen’s protests against the Bor Nok power plant project and public land encroachment. It was allegedly backed by local politicians who also stood to profit.

=================================

THE NATION

SHRIMP EXPORTS: Farmers want EU tariff cuts

Published on Sep 8, 2004

Shrimp exporters are pushing the government to request tariff privileges from the European Union under the generalised system of preferential tariffs (GSP).

They say major competitors are receiving tariff breaks ˆ a privilege taken from Thailand in 1999 ˆ and as a result the Kingdom‚s shrimp farmers have missed out on as much as Bt10 billion in sales.

Thai Shrimp Association president Somsak Paneetatyasai yesterday said the quantity of exports to the EU had fallen from 32,866 tonnes in 1995 to 5,181 tonnes last year, a reduction of 27,685-tonnes or 84.24 per cent.

„We will ask the government to request GSP benefits for Thailand this year, because there has been substantial damage to the industry [as a result of the benefits being stripped],‰ he said.

The European Union offers tariff privileges on 7,000 products to 178 countries. The EU allowed a total budget for the GSP scheme of 53 billion (Bt2.67 trillion) in 2002.

However, it removed 50 per cent of the tariff privileges on Thai shrimp imports in January 1997, and totally revoked GSPs for Thailand in 1999, as the Kingdom showed signs of a strong economic comeback after the 1997 crisis.

The EU sets GSP provisions in 10-yearly allotments. The current round ends next year and the next begins in 2006, ending again in 2015.

Because Thailand‚s GSP benefits have been cut, Thai frozen shrimp exports to the EU attract a 12 per cent tariff, while competitors ˆ namely Vietnam, India and Indonesia ˆ pay a mere 4.2 per cent.

However, the quantity of frozen shrimp exported has picked up marginally in this year‚s first seven months, with a total of 118,534 tonnes of frozen shrimp (worth Bt32.34 billion) shipped.

That compares with 116,316 tonnes (worth Bt37.96 billion) shipped in last year‚s first seven months.

Exports to the EU increased 64 per cent in quantity, from 2,296 tonnes to 3,768 tonnes, making for a 70 per cent increase in value ˆ from Bt585 million last year to Bt965 million this year.

Meanwhile, exports to the US in the first seven months of this year amounted to 61,189 tonnes worth Bt15.89 billion, a reduction of 2.3 per cent and 22.77 per cent in quantity and value respectively, compared with total exports of 62,840 tonnes valued at Bt20.58 billion in the same period last year.

Exports to Japan in the first seven months of the year amounted to 25,567 tonnes, valued Bt8.84 billion, a retraction of 39.2 per cent and 12.18 per cent in quantity and value respectively, from 26,609 tonnes valued at Bt10.07 billion shipped last year.

Benjaprut Akkarasriprapai

The Nation

============================

Bangkok Post Sept.7, 2004

GULF BRIDGE

Phetchaburi villagers to mount protest

RANJANA WANGVIPULA

The parliament’s budget approval, which includes a multi-million-baht allocation for a road project in the Gulf of Thailand, has prompted villagers in Phetchaburi to plan their next move as they feel the project poses a threat to marine environment.

“We will target our message at the premier as he has the authority to give or not to give [the project] the go-ahead,” said Sumon Sutaviriyawat, a member of Network for Thai Gulf Protection and a teacher.

Phetchaburi province, well known for its beautiful beaches, has been chosen for the construction of a downward section of a bridge which will span 47 km from Samut Sakhon, as a new motorway to ease traffic to the South. The villagers fear it will damage the environment.

The budget approval by the Thai Rak Thai-dominated parliament also included the allocation of an initial budget of 6.4 billion baht for the project, despite questions from opposition Democrat party members. The approval has upset Ms Sumon, who said the news would soon reach other villagers who insist the bridge’s construction would affect the Chao Samran beach resort.

They will raise their concern at a forum at Chulalongkorn University on Sept 18.

Ms Sumon said villagers missed the opportunity to petition Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra during his visit to Phetchaburi late last month, as some documents to be presented to him were not available.

Boonsong Kaigate, a Democrat MP for Trat, said he tried unsuccessfully to convince other lawmakers of possible environmental threats posed by the bridge’s construction during last Thursday’s fiscal 2005 budget debate.

Parliament finally approved the budget, which is part of the 32-billion-baht Gulf bridge project, expected to be completed in five years.

“We had to let the budget go through because we lost the majority vote in parliament,” said Mr Boonsong.

The bridge, to be built across the Gulf of Thailand, was viewed by the state coastal geologist as a threat to marine ecology. One concern is there would be more erosion of Lam Phakbia, the only thin cape in Phetchaburi that blocks clay sediment from northern areas from going southward to beach resorts. Villagers fear the cape would be torn apart by the impact of construction nearby.

The Highways Department has already been given 420 million baht for a design of the bridge. However, the design would be adapted to meet environmental requirements and thus would cause no problems, said Prasit Rugsayos, director for land transport and traffic analysis at the Transport Policy and Planning Division.

==========================================

Malaysia

Save Penang’s inner city mangrove ecosystem and Koay Jetty.

***ACTION ALERT!!!***

Dear friends,

Please help us in our campaign to preserve our only inner city mangrove ecosystem and Koay Jetty.

The “Preserve Koay Jetty & Mangrove in Penang, Malaysia” petition is now live online at www.PetitionOnline.com Thanks to Clement Liang.

The main URL for the petition.

Now that our petition is actually live here on the web, please
put your energy into spreading the word. The concept is simple:
the more people you send to, the more people will sign it and thus contribute to our cause.

Thank you for the support.

Joann Khaw
Coordinator
Support Koay Jetty and Mangrove Action Group
9 Sep 2004

Koay Jetty and Mangrove Bird Sanctuary – a cultural heritage site and a mangrove eco-system side by side.The importance of the mangrove site is listed in a memorandum by the Malaysian Nature Society (see below) Seven NGOs are part of the newly-formed “Support Preservation Koay Jetty and Mangrove Action Group”, and we welcome more organisations to join us.

The Koay Jetty is a water village settled by the Koay clan, a old Chinese Muslim clan of Turkish origin. The Koays arrived in Penang in the late 19th century, and have since assimilated with the non-Muslim Chinese society. They were
boatmen and charcoal traders. The timber jetty is built on stilts over mangrove along Weld Quay, the eastern coastline of Penang island. The jetty has over thirty dwellings on it, most of them still occupied by Koay clan members.

Forty years ago, due to the importance of this site to Chinese Muslim identity and heritage, the well-known Muslim missionary Haji Ibrahim Ma appealed to the first Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman who persuaded the Chief Minister of Penang Tan Sri Wong Pau Nee to spare the Koay Jetty from being demolished.
The State Government has announced it will allow this site to be demolished for proposed development and highway. We urge this site to be protected and enhanced for educational and tourism.

Khoo Salma Nasution, on behalf of the

“Support Preservation Koay Jetty and Mangrove Action Group”.
Penang Heritage Trust
Malaysian Nature Society
Baiqi Koay Cultural Revitalisation Ad-Hoc Joint Committee.
Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association
Penang Inshore Fishermen’s Welfare Association(PIFWA)
Malaysian Travel Trade Association(MATTA)
Penang Tourist Guide Association(PTGA)

Malaysian Nature Society, Penang
Memorandum

To: The Penang State Government
U/p YB Teng Chang Yeow
sk: YB Datuk Dr. Teng Hock Nan.

The Need to Conserve the Mangrove Habitat at the Koay Clan Jetty

The Malaysian Nature Society, Penang calls upon the authorities, both the
Penang Municipal Council and the State Government to be more pro active,
before it is too late, to save the last remaining inner city mangrove of
George Town at the Koay Clan Jetty.

Summary
Coastal mangroves, which were historically part and parcel of George Town,
have all but disappeared through land conversion and reclamation. The
mangrove, at the Koay Clan Jetty, although small in area, is the last
remaining, fairly healthy, mangrove in George Town and it is right in the
inner city. The few other small pockets of mangroves along the Jelutong and
Tanjong Tokong coastline will disappear once the ongoing coastal reclamation
projects are completed. The mangrove at the Koay Clan Jetty will be all that
is left of what was once a vast mangrove ecosystem, which was part of the
coastline of the eastern shores of Penang Island. As such, it imperative
that we save and protect this last piece of natural environment that is
representative of the historical natural heritage of George Town. Globally
not many cities can boast of a mangrove environment within the city.

The heronry of the Black-crowned Night-heron at the clan jetty mangrove is
of great importance as it is the second largest colony in Peninsular
Malaysia reported so far with over 500 individuals. This species has been
displaced from its nesting site far too often. The colony at Century Gardens
at Batu Uban that was successful for a number of years was destroyed to make
way for housing development. The birds then unsuccessfully attempted to nest
behind the Batu Uban/Minden army camp, after which they moved to the Tanjong
Tokong mangroves that again proved unsuitable due to the coastal reclamation
project there. Finally they have settled at the Koay Clan Jetty mangrove.
The nesting colony has been at this site for 3 years and the number of birds
nesting is the highest so far compared to the Batu Uban and Tanjong Tokong
sites.

The mangroves are not only home to 38 species of birds but also to other
small animals, insects, mud skippers (a fish with lungs), monitor lizards,
fiddler crabs and organisms thus enriching the bio-diversity of George Town.
Only a detailed study will revel the total number of species in this area.

Another important beneficial aspect of the mangrove at the Koay Clan Jetty
that cannot be ignored, is that, it can be turned into an educational inner
city park, to educate and create awareness, on nature and the environment,
among the young children from the numerous schools in the city. The children
can be exposed to, and have first hand experience about the plant and animal
community of a mangrove environment.

“Salma”
lubisksn@pd.jaring.my

==============================

Indonesiia

Jakarta Post Saturday Sept. 4 2004

MANGROVE CASE STALLED AGAIN

By Evi Mariani
Jakarta Police investigators were puzzled upon seeing their 500 page case files on suspects in a mangrove felling case returned on Monday by the Jakarta Prosecutor’s Office without any explanation. “It is the third time that the Prosecutor’s Office have returned the case files. Previously they explained to us what corrections we should make,” the city police environment department chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Ahmad Haydar said on Friday.

The police submitted the case files of three suspects – Francis Moniaga of PT Rainbow Cipta Utama advertising agency, Agus Suseno of PT Grand Skylindo advertising agency and Purwadi of toll road operator PT Jasa Marga to the prosecutors office on July 12.

But the case files were returned a week later, with notes saying the police should go to the scene to measure the land for a second time to prove that the site, where the mangrove trees in the protected forest grew did not belong to PT Jasa Marga [toll road operator].

“We did the second measurement and came up with the same results,” Hardary said. The second time the prosecutor’s office returned the case files, they told the police to question one witness and one of the suspects for the 2nd time.

“We summoned them again and attached the result of the questioning to the case files,” he added. The case files were still returned [a third time] to the police.

Jakarta Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Haryono said he had not yet received the reports on the matter.

The three suspects allegedly played a major role in the felling of 240 mangrove trees along the Professor Dr. Sedyatmo toll road in North Jakarta in April. The trees were felled to give space for billboards.

If prosecuted the suspects may be charged with violating Law No. 23/1997 on the environment and Law no. 5/1990 on conserving natural resources and the ecosystem as well as Law No. 41/1999 on forestry. The laws carry a minimum prison term of 5 years for violators.

From: “Benjamin Brown”
map-indo@dps.centrin.net.id

=============================

September 8, 2004

Spurred by Illness, Indonesians Lash Out at U.S. Mining Giant

By JANE PERLEZ and EVELYN RUSLI

BUYAT BAY BEACH, Indonesia – First the fish began to disappear. Then villagers began developing strange rashes and bumps. Finally in January, Masna Stirman, aided by a $1.50 wet nurse, gave birth to a tiny, shriveled girl with small lumps and wrinkled skin.

“The nurse said: ‘Ma’am, the baby has deformities,’ ” Mrs. Stirman, 39, recalled in an interview. Unable to get any meaningful medical help in this remote fishing village of about 300 people, she watched as her fourth child suffered for months and then died in July.

The infant’s death came after years of complaints by local fishermen about waste dumped in the ocean by the owner of a nearby gold mine, the Newmont Mining Corporation, the world’s biggest gold producer, based in Denver. It also kicked up a political brawl pitting Indonesia’s feisty environmental groups against the American mining giant, which has been trailed by allegations of pollution on four continents.

The fight has aroused intense interest in mining circles and among environmental groups for the fresh concerns it raises about how rich multinational companies – especially those that extract resources like coal, copper and gold as well as oil and natural gas – conduct themselves in poor nations.

See the complete article HERE.

Be sure to click to see all three pages of this excellent article!

From: Paula Palmer, Global Response
Paula Palmer
paulap@globalresponse.org

================================

Vietnam

Voice of Vietnam News 4-11 Sept. 2004

Denmark helps to establish Cu Lao Cham marine reserve

Vietnam’s second marine reserve was established around Cu Lao Cham (Cham island) off the central province of Quang Nam with assistance from Denmark.

The Cu Lao Cham marine reserve covering eight islands and 5,175ha of water surface boasts 165 coral reefs, around 500ha of seaweed and seagrass, and various sea creatures.

Scientists have recently found 135 coral species, including the six species discovered in Vietnam’s waters for the first time, 202 fish species, four species of lobster, and 84 reptile species on Cu Lao Cham. The Cu Lao Cham marine reserve is one of the 15 sea parks planned to be set up nation-wide.

The country’s first sea park is the Hon Mun marine reserve, which was set up in 2000 in Khanh Hoa province with funding and assistance from the World Bank, the Danish International Development Agency (Danida), and the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

The park covers 12,100 ha of sea and several islands, and is home to 173 coral species and 176 fish species.

From: From: mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

============================

S. ASIA

India

INDIA TO EXTRACT HYDROCARBONS
IN SUNDARBAN FROM JANUARY

Though it has been stated that India and Bangladesh would jointly conduct exploration for Oil/Gas in the Sundarban, it has been reported that India will unilaterally extract Oil and Gas from its portion of the Sundarban with effect from January next year. This means total violation of the agreement with Bangladesh to conduct joint explorations for hydrocarbons in the Sundarban. As a result, Bangladesh will have to suffer huge loss.

This news was covered in detail in the widely circulated Ananda Bazar Patrika and several other Bangla and English dailies of India on August 20, 2004. This will enable to extract Oil/Gas from close to the border
with Bangladesh. In this connection, the Indian Government has concluded an agreement with a company named Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).
Mr. Sabir Raha, Chairman and Managing Director of ONGC told in a Press Conference on 19 August that the ONGC will start drilling near the coast of the Bay of Bengal about 150 km from the Sundarban from January 2004.

They are said to have prepared a map marking the spots where Natural Gas or Oil are likely to be found. The Organization has planned to initially drill four exploratory wells. In irder to obtain modern technology for extracting hydrocarbons, it s learnt that the ONGC will conclude an agreement with the Stachinsky Institute of Russia. In addition, the Organization will reportedly request the central government of India to enhance the price of the crude oil to be extracted from the Sundarban.
Already they given 800 crore rupees as subsidy to four nationalised oil companies. Last year the subsidy was fixed at 2000 crore rupees. The organization has also obtained permission to open 800 new filling stations all over India.

The India-Bangladesh Sundarban Biodiversity Conservation Project adopted in 2004 has not shown any reaction to this unilateral declaration by India to extract hydrocarbons from the Sundarban. This 77 million US Dollar project was commenced at a time when both Bangladesh and India had planned to extract hydrocarbons from the Sundarban. In spite of the eagerness of the Ministry of Environment and Forests of Bangladesh, the Indian government has apparently paid no heed. THE UNESCO had declared a portion of the Bangladesh Sundarban as World Heritage sites on 6 December 1997.

The Bangladesh portion constitutes 62% of the whole Sundarban, while the remaining 38% is situated in India. During the discussions held in 2001, both countries had laid emphasis on all effective means to conserve the heritage of the Sundarban, because both countries are committed to the conservation of the Sundarban for greater economic interests. But now that India has decided to extract hydrocarbons unilaterally from the Sundarban, it has not given any reply to the pleas of the Ministry of Environment and Forests of Bangladesh. Instead, though they possess the smaller share of the Sundarban, they have unilaterally decided to start the extraction process by the beginning of next year without consulting Bangladesh.

But the environmental scientists of India have admitted that Bangladesh will not be the only loser if India extracts hydrocarbons from the Sundarban; India will also suffer environmental disaster. In an
International workshop held in Khulna on May 19-20, 2004, they had stated that if the Indian government takes any step to extract hydrocarbons from the Sundarban, they would use all means at their disposal to oppose the move.

In responding to this move by India, Ashraf-ul-Alam Tutu, Coordinator of CDP and Save Sundarban Campaign said that the Sundarban is a World Heritage site. India cannot unilaterally decide to extract hydrocarbons
from this World Heritage site. Moreover, the people of the world have proof that whenever hydrocarbon exploration has been conducted in a mangrove forest, environmental disaster has been the result. As such, in the event of any exploration in the Sundarban, the world public opinion will go against it, and India will have to face the consequences of this movement. He advised India not to violate any international agreement.

Shaun Haque in Dainik Prabartan, Khulna, Sunday 12 September 2004.

Translated by Anwar Firoze, CDP.

From: cdp@khulna.bangla.net

===================================

Bangladesh

Flash Report
Report on SBCP Watch Group

Introduction:
The SBCP Watch Group is a Network that was formed when the NGOs active on environmental issues found that the US$ 77.5 million Sundarban Biodiversity Conservation Project (SBCP) had deviated widely from the findings of the baseline survey conducted by the NGOs at the request of fund manager ADB. Save The Sundarban Campaign was launched in January 2004. Action Program of the Platform for ensuring People’s Rights over Natural Resources has commenced formally. The development of this Platform is a continuation of the programs of the SBCP Watch Group. Gradually, this Platform will achieve a National character and become more organized. The goal of this Platform is to organize Advocacy to ensure People’s Rights over Natural Resources. The functions of the Platform will include Rallies, People’s Movements, Dissemination of Information, Review of existing Laws, Climate Change etc. International Linkage will also be developed. Linkage has already been developed with the Civil Society Organizations (NGOs and CBOs) working for the improvement in the Standard of Living of Bawalis (Woodcutters), Mowalis (Honey Collectors), Fishers and farmers inhabiting in the hinterland of the Sundarban in West Bengal, India. Initiatives have already been taken for identifying the most important issues and jointly develop and implement Action Plans. People inhabiting the Impact Zone of the Sundarban have already started their campaign to assert People’s Rights over Natural Resources. It is our wish to cooperate with and assist such Peoples’ Movements.

Latest Events: SBCP Watch Group on
Re-designing the Sundarban Biodiversity Conservation Project
Since the very inception of the Sundarban Biodiversity Conservation Project (SBCP), the SBCP Watch Group has been demanding re-designing of the Project in accordance with the opinions of the people. Later on, SBCP Watch Group has continued its activities such as media campaign, publicity through the mass media, discussions with Members of Parliament, Publications and International campaigns in order to persuade the authorities concerned to take initiatives for re-designing the SBCP. Towards this end, the SBCP Watch Group has held meetings with the representatives of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at Khulna, Dhaka and Manila on several occasions. It is the opinion of the SBCP Watch Group that if the project is implemented in its present shape, neither the conservation of Biodiversity in the Sundarban, nor the improvement in the standard of living of the people inhabiting the Impact Zone, could be achieved. As a result of people’s movement, our advocacy and media campaign, the ADB vide their letter dated 4 September 2003 suspended the implementation of the project. The ADB claims, “There have been many faults in the implementation of the Project; hence it needs to be re-designed”. In this perspective, the SBCP Watch Group held a Press Conference at the Khulna Press Club on 28 September 2003. Against this, the SBCP Watch Group claims, “Not only in its implementation, the very design of the project is faulty. Hence it should be re-designed”. It is in this perspective that the SBCP Watch Group demands that the project be re-designed on the basis of People’s Opinions and the suspension order be withdrawn. In March 2004, on the occasion of “Lobby Day” we had given the same message to ADB officials at the ADB office in Manila in the capacity of a member of the NGO Forum on ADB.

Later on, the Forest Department of the Government of Bangladesh commenced re-designing the project. But they did not discuss any issue with the SBCP Watch Group, nor did they request for any advice in respect of any component of the project. In spite of this neglect, the SBCP Watch Group continued its activities of compiling People’s Opinions and on the basis of the expressed opinions of the people, the Watch Group published a Booklet titled “Why the SBCP should be Re-designed Effectively” (in Bangla), and had it disseminated widely. It was in this situation that the SBCP WG was invited to hold a discussion by ADB’s Advisor Dr. Sanaullah Mustafa on 21 June 2004. The meeting was held on 24 June 2004.

At the commencement of the meeting, the SBCP Watch Group wanted to know the goals and objectives of the meeting, and what the ADB expected from this meeting. In reply, the Advisor and the Project Director said that though the discussion is informal, they consider it as important. It was then that the SBCP Watch Group expressed the opinions of the people. After this, ADB’s Advisor presented the outputs of 13 Workshops conducted by the Project in the Impact Zone.

After long discussion, both parties agreed on the following points:
– The perspective of the Forest Department on Conservation must be appropriate.
– Separate Committees and Federations of occupational groups of Forest Resource Extractors must be formed, and the Sundarban Management methodology must be based on their opinions.
– Participation of the local people in the Management of Sundarban must be more effective
– The present methodology of Micro-Credit must be changed.
– Conservation must be given utmost importance in Eco-Tourism programs and all Eco-tourism programs must be based on Conservation.
– The proposed forestation program may be reconsidered, and more importance must be given to self-regeneration of mangroves in the Sundarban and in the Impact Zone.
– The Sundarban Stewardship Commission and the Sundarban Stakeholders Advisory Committee must be given more effective in the project.
– There exists a lack of coordination between the activities of different Government organizations engaged in implementation of the SBCP (viz. the Forest Department and LGED) and the activities implemented in the Impact Zone of the Sundarban by the SBCP Watch Group. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was not conducted prior to the implementation of the project….

Compiled by: SBCP Watch Group and Save Sundarban Campaign Secretariat at CDP.
Translated and Edited by : Anwar Firoze, Document Development Coordinator, CDP.

Contact Address:
Ashraf-ul-Alam Tutu
Coordinator
CDP & SBCP Watch Group
E-mail: cdp@cdpbd.org,

From: cdp@khulna.bangla.net

————————————————–

Organic farming can up shrimp export by 25pc
UNB, Dhaka
THE DAILY STAR

Organic shrimp farming will not only rebuild the image of Bangladesh in the global market but also increase export earnings from the sector by 25 percent.

ìBangladesh has huge potential for organic shrimp farming as it has already covered all the prerequisites of these practices,” said Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO) Consultant Philippe Serene.

The SIPPO has conducted a joint study with Bangladesh on organic shrimp farming and its export. “Bangladesh can earn 25 percent more with the organic farming,” he observed.

“Almost all shrimps produced in Bangladesh are said to be organic. The producers and exporters need training and certification from the experts to practice organic shrimp production as started by Vietnam and other countries,” said the Swiss consultant.

His country’s Head of Mission and Charge díaffaires in Dhaka says Bangladesh can rebuild its image on the overseas market through organic shrimp cultivation.

ìI am personally convinced that shrimp farmers and exporters of Bangladesh will do well if they use the technology and know-how of organic shrimp production,” he told a briefing on the joint study on Saturday.

The Swiss Charge díaffaires said the government of Switzerland strictly maintains all-out quality of the products so that the country deserves special attention to the products exported from any other country.

Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association (BFFEA) President Quazi Monirul Haq presided over the meeting also addressed by Export Promotion Bureau Director AKM Nizamul Alam and BFFEA Secretary General Mahmudul Hasan.

Lauding the project, the BFFEA President assured the SIPPO consultant all-out cooperation in implementing organic shrimp-farming project in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is going for organic culture with the frozen food exporters taking an initiative to earn Tk 10,000 crore annually by the year 2008 from the sector.

With this objective, the BFFEA has prepared a “Vision 2008″ concept paper and submitted it to the government for requisite action for increasing shrimp production, optimum utilisation of the processing capacity and exploring new markets.

According to the exporters, the country earned about 380 million US dollars in last fiscal year (2003-2004) by exporting frozen foods, 10 million dollar higher than the target. The association has fixed the export target at 410 million dollars (about Tk 2,500 crore) for the current fiscal year.

From: zakir kibria <banglapraxis@yahoo.com>

======================================

Two policemen hurt in gunfight with pirates in Sundarban

NewAge, August 24. 2004

Five people, including two policemen, were injured in a police-pirate gunfight in Sundarban under Shyamnagar upazila of Satkhira Sunday morning. The officer-in-charge of Shyamnagar police station Kamruzzaman said the gunfight ensued at about 10:30am when the pirates opened fire on the policemen who went to the deep forest under Fortikerdun forest area to rescue four fishermen, abducted on August 13. The 20-member police team had to retreat without rescuing the fishermen amid indiscriminate firing by the pirates, the police said adding that they had fired 30 shots while the pirates around 100 during the hour-long encounter. Sub-inspector Mirja Shahjahan and constable Shahidul Islam, and Abdus Sattar and Anarul of Gabura village and Abdullah Al Mamun, a police source, of Badheata village received bullets during the gunfight. The pirates reportedly belonging to Baro Bhai group abducted 10 fishermen along with five trawlers from the river under Firingi area in Sundarban on August 13.

From: zakir kibria
banglapraxis@yahoo.com

=================================

Pakistsan

Aug.26, 2004

Sustainable fishing policy demanded

By a correspondent

KARACHI: The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) has prepared what it calls Ôthe first ever draft for a sustainable policyÕ that stresses on the need to lessen the environmental impact of fishing.

The blueprint urges the government to announce a sustainable policy while providing its recommendations and demands.

The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) perceives the fishing policy of the government not tantamount to the betterment of the fishing communities, nor do they serve the real Ônational interestsÕ, it says.

The PFF observes that not only marine bio-diversity but millions of people who depend on the sea for food and livelihoods are at risk too.

It proposes that the objective of managing the fisheries should not be to maximise the short-term yield but to minimise the environmental impact of fishing.

“Such low impact fisheries would enable the long-term benefits of the marine ecosystem to be sustained,” said the draft.

The PFF says that fishing should be prohibited in areas where fishing activities may pose a threat to the bio-diversity, productivity or the characteristic structure and functioning of the marine ecosystems.

“Indiscriminate and wasteful forms of fishing must be eliminated,” it said.

It suggests that the catch of non-target species or undersized fishes should be reduced to zero level.

The PFF says that the destructive impacts of fishing activities on habitats and marine ecosystems must be eliminated (e.g. damage to coral reefs, sea grass and mangroves).

“Fisheries may not substantially alter any marine habitat or ecosystem nor inhibit the recovery of any that are damaged, threatened or endangered,” it said.

However, it urged that the human activities that may significantly affect the marine environment (including its watersheds) and marine bio-diversity must be accounted through environmental impact assessments, and any adverse impacts must be eliminated.

The draft suggests that before introducing any new fishing practice or gear types into a fishery a scientifically based environmental impact assessment must demonstrate that such methods or gear will have no damaging impact on the target fish populations, other associate species, or their habitats.

The draft stressed that large scale industrialised fishing fleets should not be allowed to move to areas where their activities would be detrimental to fish stocks, marine bio-diversity and local communities.

In order to protect societyÕs common natural heritage, the PFF suggested that the access to fishing and control of ocean areas should not be privatised.

It called for an end to the use of harmful nets in coastal as well as inland fisheries by strengthening the existing legal provisions as well as monitoring the systems by the government.

mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

=====================================

E. ASIA

China

Hong Kong birding gets major tourism push

13-10-2003

From now on tourists visiting frenetic Hong Kong will be provided with an alternative way to spend their vacation ˆ a free guide to seeing the surprisingly rich bird life on the islands.

Distributed at Hong Kong International Airport, tourist information centres and in schools, so that local children may also benefit from their environment, the Hong Kong Bird Watching Map provides visitors with information on 12 of Hong Kong‚s premier bird watching sites. This includes individual maps, information on the special birds of each site and detailed directions on how to find the sites using public transport.

Although one of the most densely-populated areas on Earth and a mere 1,100 sq km in area, Hong Kong is home to fourteen species in danger of extinction, including the endangered Black-faced Spoonbill Platalea minor and Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer. The guide features the jewel in Hong Kong‚s birdwatching crown, the famous Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve, which has been designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International and supports important non-breeding populations of several thousand waterbirds.

In addition the guide also covers habitats ranging from forested hills to rocky shores, mangroves, fishponds and Hong Kong‚s one remaining example of traditionally-managed farmland, Long Valley IBA.

“Hong Kong Bird Watching Society have not only created a beautiful and informative guide to Hong Kong‚s top birding spots, they have also created a model for co-operation which draws on the particular strengths of different sectors of society.” –Noritaka Ichida, Director, BirdLife International Asia

The guide has been published by BirdLife‚s partner in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, together with the HK Tourism Board and Swarovski. HKBWS Chairman Lam Chiu Ying says: “HKBWS are proud to partner Swarovski and the Hong Kong Tourist Board to promote ecotourism and enjoyment in Hong Kong‚s birds and wild places. We hope this will set a new trend for co-operation between the commercial sector, non-governmental organisations and the administration in raising interest and awareness of Hong Kong‚s ecotourism potential

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”
mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

===================================

Japan

International Conservation Groups Call on Bush & Koizumi to Save the Okinawa Dugong
New Airbase Would Destroy Essential Dugong Habitat

(California, USA/Okinawa, Japan) – A coalition of hundreds of US and international conservation groups representing over 10 million people sent a letter today to President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi urging the two leaders to cancel a plan to construct a new air base on top of a coral reef near Henoko, Okinawa, the feeding ground of the last remaining Okinawa Dugong (sea cow). Biologists believe building this landing strip could doom these gentle marine mammals to extinction.

The plan calls for Japan to build a new military base for American use atop coral reefs–effectively destroying the remaining habitat of the gentle dugong in Japan. The 1.5 mile-long airbase would also permanently disrupt one of the most biologically diverse areas in the Pacific.

The coral reefs in question provide important habitat for numerous rare wildlife species including the endangered dugong, a Japanese cultural icon related to the manatee, and three species of sea turtle. Local residents voted against the airbase project in a referendum, but Japanese and US authorities are ignoring their voices.

A coalition of US and Japanese conservation groups went to court in September 2003 to stop the project ( SEE WEBSITE ). The case is currently being heard in US District Court in San Francisco. The lawsuit asks the US Department of Defense to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) by publicly assessing the impacts of the proposed project on the Okinawa dugong. The NHPA requires US agencies to assess the impacts of their activities on cultural icons of foreign nations. Because of their significance to Okinawan culture, dugongs are included on a Japanese government list of protected cultural properties.

From: Peter Galvin
pgalvin@biologicaldiversity.org

============================

LATIN AMERICA

Brazil

New Shrimp Virus Finds Ready-Made Home In Brazil

A new shrimp virus, called Idiopatic Muscular Necrosis Virus (IMNV), (in Portuguese NIM) has finally found its spoiling way into the rapidly expanding shrimp farm industry in Brazil. The worst fears of deadly, invasive viruses have finally materialized as predicted by many experts familiar with the all too familiar, unsustainable course of this industry.

This news, when combined with the US imposed heavy tariff on Brazil’s shrimp exports due toi the anti-dumping suit, has had a slowdown effect on the otherwise runaway industry there. Shrimp farmers are suffering some heavy, recent losses to this virus which usually does not show up till late in the grow-out cycle. Perhaps millions of dollars may be lost because of this virus, though both the industry and Brazilian government would rather keep this news hushed up to avoid negative publicity for their highly lauded shrimp farms!

WEBSITE

============================================

Environmental Justice Foundation – News Release

Brazil: Fishermen shot and beaten during brutal attack by shrimp farm gunmen

Six fishermen and community activists, including children, were shot and injured during a brutal attack by gunmen reportedly hired by the Empresa Joli Aquicultura shrimp farming company in the north-eastern Brazilian state of Ceara. Other inhabitants of the village of Curral Velho, near Aracau on the Atlantic coast, were kidnapped, handcuffed and beaten during the incident which happened on Tuesday 7th September.

The attack took place after a number of residents of Curral Velho confronted employees of the shrimp farm over unlawful expansion of the farm’s boundaries into nearby mangrove forests used by the community for fishing and docking boats. Despite reportedly reaching an agreement with the farm’s management, two fishermen were shot at later in the day by armed guards from the farm.

According to eyewitnesses, when a larger group of sixteen residents returned to demand an explanation for the violence, three gunmen from the shrimp farm opened fire indiscriminately, injuring six of the group, including three children aged between nine and fifteen. The injured were hit in a variety of places including the arms and shoulders.

As some of the fishermen sought help from the nearby village, they were accosted by the gunmen, handcuffed and severely beaten for over an hour. Victims of the attack say they were threatened with death if they told anyone of the incident.

Although local police were called, and the injured taken to hospital, it was not until the following day that the attackers were arrested after news of the violence had reached the federal police. An official investigation into the attack has now been launched. Local campaigners claim that the hired gunmen were ex-policemen under investigation for criminal activity…

From: “albani linhares”

mambrz@sobralnet.com.br

=======================

Note: The following statement was drawn up by delegates to the 2nd Conference of Red Manglar (Mangrove Network) based in Latin America. This 2nd conference was held in Brazil, and 14 nations were represented there.By fasr, shrimp farming was the most hotly contested issues confronting coastal dwellers and local NGOs.

STATEMENT OF FORTALEZA
August 30th – September 4th, 2004

Delegates from the grass-root community organizations, national coordinator units and non governmental organizations of Latin-America, North-America and Europe, that attended the II General Assembly of Redmanglar Internacional, address the international community to state the following:

1. We reaffirm all the issues contended in the Choluteca Statement from 2001.

2. We reiterate that, despite the enormous efforts from our communities to bring to an end the destruction of the costal ecosystems, this has not stopped rather it has grown as well as the systematic violation of the human rights of our communities.

3. In particular, the activity of shrimp aquaculture –although it has demonstrated a history of social and environmental destruction– continues its relentless and impunity expansion.

4. We denounce that our countries’ legislation has been revised to allow the expansion of the destructive activities over new coastal ecosystems. We reject any modification to our legal systems with the aim to diminish the protection and allow the appropriation of the marine and coastal zones and their influence areas.

5. The International treaties of free commerce (TLC, ALCA, NAFTA, …) and their associated plans and mega-projects (such as Plan Puebla Panama, Plan Colombia or Polo Siderurgico de Maranhao) comprise the sovereignty and the autodetermination of our people and threat to seize our legal systems into the private interests of international and national investors.

6. International Financial Institutions (World Bank, International Monetary Fund, BCIE, IDB, …) that have actively participated in the achievement of these international strategies, have played –and are still playing– a determinant role, in the expansion of the shrimp culture and other impacting activities, such as harbour building, hydrocarbons extraction and construction of tourism infrastructure, among others, over our marine and coastal zones.

7. We denounce that after decades in which our economies have been engaged towards the production of export commodities (such as shrimp aquaculture), our communities are poorer. We demand politics that satisfy the local requirements which shall be sustainable in the long term.

8. We affirm that the community ecotourism has a good potential, if it is managed directly by the community and respond to their own interests turning into an economic alternative together with other ancestral activities.

9. We denounce, however, that in the name of “ecoturism”, activities of great impact have developed. These activities don’t cover the needs of our people, their quality of life or the health of the ecosystems.

10. We denounce, that ancestral activities are being substituted by new economic activities imposed by our governments as an alternative to the actual financial crisis. These alternatives still concentrate richness in few people and diminish the quality of live of the great majority of the local population. We request the elaboration of politics that will strengthen the communities’ ancestral productive activities in our coastal zones. These politics shall guarantee sovereignty and citizen rights.

11. We note that a great deal of the research and management activities in our ecosystem is still directed to satisfy needs that are in opposition to our communities. These are setting bases for the destruction of the livelihoods and the culture of our communities, through the expansion of destructive and unsustainable activities.

12. We express our concern for the increase of the shrimp ponds that are obtaining “organic” certifications and ratify, as General Assembly, the Declaration on Certification approved in the past meeting of Redmanglar’s Council.

13. We express our concern for the increase in the consumption of shrimps in the Northern countries, which is encouraging the expansion of the industry, as well as we express our concern about the absence of information for the consumers about the criminal impacts of this industry.

14. We state the urgency to build bridges and to work together with international networks, universities and institutions that are concerned about the defense of the marine and coastal ecosystems in other regions that are suffering the same problems resulting of this destructive development pattern.

15. We reiterate our disposition and determination to resist the privatizing and destruction processes of the natural resources in the marine and coastal zones of our countries.

16. We declare the 26th of July as the national and international day of the mangroves. The local communities will commemorate this day annually with activities in defense of the coastal ecosystems.

Finally we demand:

1. A global and immediate moratorium to the expansion of shrimp farming.
2. We claim, furthermore, urgent politics that can guarantee that the leaders of these destructions (International Financial Institutions, Governments, States and Industries) will recover the ecosystems that depredatory industries have destroyed during the last decades.
We urge the national governments to abstain from ratifying the international free trade treaties promoted by the United States of America and the international financing organisms, their plans and associated mega-projects, since those seriously threat the sovereignty of our people, the livelihoods of the local communities and the natural environment.

From: “Info-Redmanglar”

info@redmanglar.org

=====================================================

Guatemala

Guatemala: Progress in the Wake of Terrible Violence

by Jessica Sherman April 23, 2004

Fernando Chiyoc Albizures and Maytín Castellanos would be pleased to know what neighbors in Champerico have achieved since their murders in 2001. These two young men (ages 14 and 22) were killed in separate incidents protesting the actions of the shrimp farming company Camarones S.A. (Camarsa) when factory guards opened fire.

Although no amount of progress would be worth this loss of life, villagers have since gained greater environmental protections and responsiveness from the company, largely through the work of the Neighborhood Association for the Integral Development of Champerico (AVEDICHAM) and other community groups that have come together in the wake of this violence.

Camarsa, a large shrimp company with subsidiaries throughout Guatemala, has been active in Champerico, on Guatemala’s west coast, since 1992. Companies such as Camarsa have expanded over the last decade, in part through support by the World Bank. Today, according to the New York Times, they account for 40 percent of shrimp production worldwide. These companies rely on shrimp ponds, which are usually dug in coastal lowlands, often displacing mangrove forests and estuary ecosystems that are biologically rich spawning grounds. They introduce foods and chemicals into local waters, and this pollution usually has an impact far beyond the ponds themselves.

Champerico was once surrounded by wetlands, estuaries and mangrove forests. This made it an ideal location for shrimp farming. But fishing is the town’s major source of income, and any threat to local marine ecosystems is taken very seriously.

In 1995, Camarsa constructed a fence, illegally blocking public access to mangrove and water resources on public lands. By this time, the people of Champerico already had seen major changes. The company had polluted the estuaries through discharge of untreated waste from shrimp ponds; it had pumped unknown quantities of water from the wetlands, significantly lowering water levels and raising fish mortality; it had illegally logged mangrove forests to construct the shrimp ponds; and it had repressed and intimidated local fishermen, discouraging them from taking any action.

As in many poor communities in the developing world, the people of Champerico had no recourse. The government turned a blind eye to the company’s violations despite laws against logging of mangroves and requirements for environmental impact assessments that Camarsa never carried out. Enforcement in Guatemala is notoriously lax, and the government is unabashedly pro-business. As one fisherman stated in a report on Camarsa’s activities, “This is…the struggle of one village dying of hunger against an industry that is killing the mangroves, our source of life.”

Yet the people of Champerico persevered, despite years of environmental damage and the company’s heavy-handed approach that culminated in the violence of 2001. AVEDICHAM and other community organizations have worked tirelessly to make their case against the company and help the people of Champerico gain a voice in the region’s future. AVEDICHAM has organized regular community meetings and created a resource center to bring together subsistence fishing families throughout the area in common cause.

AVEDICHAM has initiated a monitoring committee to track Camarsa’s activities and relay information to the National Council for Protected Areas and the Minister of Agriculture, with the goal of encouraging enforcement of environmental laws. AVEDICHAM also has helped increase local awareness of the importance of mangroves and estuaries and of the ecological services they provide.

Perhaps most importantly, AVEDICHAM has begun to build lines of communication between Comarsa and local fishermen. Comarsa has agreed to consult AVEDICHAM before any activities are carried out in local estuaries. The fence built in 1995 has been removed, and Comarsa has committed to rehabilitating 45 acres of mangrove.

On July 26 2003, on “Mangrove Day”, AVEDICHAM organized a soccer game between the community and Comarsa factory workers. The achievements of AVEDICHAM and similar groups helps ensure that the people of Champerico and other developing world communities might someday meet companies like Comarsa on a level playing field. With luck it also might prevent the kind of desperation and violence that led to deaths of two very young men.

From: “Chet Tchozewski” <chet_t@greengrants.org>

==============================

NORTH AMERICA

USA

Shrimpers net victory but they still need friends. Local seafood needs to be a brand in demand

Published Saturday, July 10th, 2004

A new red and white bumper sticker is showing up on pickups driven by commercial shrimpers in Beaufort County. It says: “Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Imported Shrimp.”

The shrimpers are on the right track, but they need more friends.

They found a powerful friend this week when the federal government took a step that could eventually stop the hemorrhaging for a traditional local industry that is reeling in the global economy. The Bush administration proposed tariffs on shrimp from China and Vietnam, saying that exporters have been dumping shrimp in the United States at
artificially low prices.

That is the answer coalitions of shrimpers throughout the Southern coastline wanted to hear. It is the protection they deserve. They filed complaints, seeking enforcement of antidumping laws that can help them compete on a more level playing field. There’s a lot of red tape ahead if the proposed tariffs are to stick, if they are to make a difference
in the marketplace and if it will eventually lead to a higher price paid to local shrimpers at the docks. At least it signals the issue has merit and the plea is being heard.

But the bumper sticker still hits on the bigger problem. Too many consumers don’t know or care about the advantages of local shrimp. The commercial fishing industry, which we’d like to see remain a viable part of the Lowcountry economy and culture, needs more friends willing to demand an alternative to bland, frozen farm-raised shrimp from Asia or South America. They need friends willing to pay a premium for a premium
product, and it would be up to the industry to deliver the goods. Most consumers may not care, but enough should care to keep the industry alive in Beaufort County.

Shrimpers should seek strength in numbers. There are state and federal efforts under way now to promote local shrimp. The S.C. Seafood Alliance has used $400,000 in federal money advertising with the slogan “Fresh Local.” Meanwhile, the S.C. Shrimpers Association is working with the Clemson Extension agency to help the public distinguish South Carolina seafood. And the Southern Shrimp Alliance has marketing plans as well.
Someone needs to make sure that the efforts are coordinated to deliver the most powerful punch.

Restaurants that can or will serve local shrimp, crabs and oysters should promote it. Diners who flock to the coast should know whether they are being served the same thing they’d get in Dubuque. Local shrimpers may need to make friends one chef at a time.

ISLAND PACKET

From: “Andrianna Natsoulas”
anatsoulas@citizen.org

STORIES/ISSUES
New data show sizeable drop in numbers of wasted fish

Are better fishing practices responsible for decrease, or are there just fewer fish to waste?
14 September 2004, Rome — New FAO analysis of global data for the last decade shows that on average some 7.3 million tonnes of fish are being thrown back to sea unused each year — a decrease of about 12 million tonnes from FAO’s previous estimate.

In 1996 the UN agency estimated that average annual global fish discards were around 20 million tonnes.

In many places fish production has reached maximum sustainable levels, and for some fisheries discard levels and analysis of fish catch compositions can offer insights into the well-being of remaining stocks.

“Is the decline in discard levels good news or bad news? Perhaps a bit of both,” FAO’s Fisheries Department said in a statement today.

Why the change?

According to FAO, a number of factors underline the shift in discard numbers.

“In some fisheries, countries have implemented measures that aim at reducing incidental by-catch. These include initiatives that improve fishing selectivity to limit catches to only desired species as well as the increased use of by-catch excluder devices or anti-discard regulations,” FAO’s statement said.

“In effect, these measures have prompted fishing boats to get much better at not catching unwanted species in the first place,” FAO explained.

The Organization also noted that fish that in the past would have been thrown away as “trash fish” are today increasingly being kept on-board and used.

“What is difficult is to know just how much of the approximately 12 million tonnes no longer being discarded is due to greater selectivity, versus how much of it comes from the fact that processing has improved and a larger proportion of catches are being effectively used,” said FAO. “Or do we simply now have much better data on selectivity and discards than before?”

Where have all the discards gone?

With fewer fish being wasted and being used instead, one could expect the overall level of fish landings to have increased — but this hasn’t happened. In general, global fish landings have been stable in recent years, FAO figures show.

“The fact that we are seeing less waste is good news. But is this good news about discards masking some bad news too? Has increased use of previously discarded fish masked a decline in captures of conventional stocks? And how do natural fluctuations in fish abundance due to climatic conditions and natural lifecycles of fish populations play in? There are still a great many unknowns,” FAO’s statement said.

As the lead global agency charged with collecting and studying world fisheries statistics, FAO will continue to monitor and analyse the capture production and use data that it receives from governments around the world.

“But improved national monitoring of catches and more detailed reporting of catch composition and fish utilization is needed to get an accurate picture of the situation,” said FAO.

The UN agency also urged all countries to apply the standards and principles contained in the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in order to reduce waste in fisheries.

Contact: George Kourous. Information Officer, FAO
george.kourous@fao.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Environmental Justice Foundation ö News Release

EJF film uncovers the hidden cost of Brazil’s shrimp farming boom

A new film uncovering the hidden environmental and social cost of Brazil’s shrimp farming boom has been unveiled as part of a campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of shrimp production on the country’s ecologically important coastal regions.

Produced by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) and the Forum for the Defence of Ceara’s Coastline, the 15 minute film was launched at the recent Second Regional Assembly of the Redmanglar, held in Fortaleza, Ceara state, which brought together representatives of 14 Latin American countries to discuss resistance to threats to the region’s wetland habitats, including shrimp farming.

The film, based on footage obtained during EJF investigations in the North-Eastern state of Ceara during July and August 2004, reveals a catalogue of environmental and social abuses connected to the expansion of shrimp farming in the region, including:

Massive (and previously unreported) destruction of mangrove and carnauba forests in order to make way for new shrimp-producing ponds
Pollution and flooding of agricultural land with salt water by ever expanding shrimp farms
Depletion of wild fish stocks threatening food security for Ceara’s coastal communities
Misuse of vital water supplies, including evidence of a major shrimp farm diverting water from a river to feed shrimp ponds whilst local inhabitants have no drinking water available
Indifference from within the shrimp farming community; undercover film of one shrimp farmer shows him casually acknowledging problems caused by the industry

Aerial footage included in the film shows how once intact coastal ecosystems, including mangrove forests, have been replaced by vast construction sites as shrimp farming companies expand their boundaries, frequently unlawfully or with compliance of the authorities. The film also contains footage of bulldozers in action felling carnauba forests, and of a forest that has been “burnt out” by shrimp farm companies.

Mangrove forests are one of the world’s most threatened habitats. It is estimated that over half of the world’s mangroves have been destroyed and they continue to decline at an alarming rate. Shrimp aquaculture development has been a major cause of recent mangrove loss, and it has been estimated that it may have been responsible for as much as 38% of global loss. In some countries it is the greatest threat to mangrove ecosystems.

Destruction of mangroves leaves coastal areas exposed to erosion, flooding and storm damage, alters natural drainage patterns, increases salt intrusion and removes critical habitats for many aquatic and terrestrial species, with serious implications for biodiversity, conservation and food security. Carnauba forests provide an important economic resource for rural communities, providing them with materials for the production of wax, straw and other saleable products.

The film contains testimony from inhabitants of Ceara’s coastal communities explaining some of the negative impacts of shrimp farming in the region. Villagers are filmed explaining how wild fish stocks have become reduced since large scale shrimp farming began in the region and how the loss of coastal forests has severely affected the availability of basic resources such as wood for firewood, for building and for other artisanal uses. Others describe to investigators how previously fertile land that was once used for growing crops has become economically redundant after being degraded by salt water flooding from shrimp farms.

Last week tension in the region over the expansion of shrimp farms grew considerably after six fishermen and community activists were shot during a brutal attack by gunmen reportedly hired by a leading shrimp farm company, Empresa Joli Aquicultura. Other inhabitants of the village of Curral Velho, near Acarau, about 270 km north of Fortaleza, were kidnapped, handcuffed and beaten during the incident which happened on Tuesday 7th September.

A spokesman for EJF today said: “Brazil’s shrimp farming industry is out of control. Our investigations — and last week’s shootings — illustrate clearly why urgent action is necessary to eliminate the environmental and human consequences from shrimp farming. Unfortunately the situation in Brazil mirrors what is happening right across the developing world, where a familiar and shocking pattern of ecological and human rights abuses follows the expansion of shrimp farming.”

Brazil is now one of the world’s major produces of farmed shrimp. In 2000, according to the Brazilian Association of Shrimp Producers, the country produced 25,000 tonnes of farmed shrimp worth US$ 175 million, much of it for export to North America, Western Europe and the Far East. Spain is Brazil’s largest market for shrimp, followed by France and the UK.

(MAP Editor’s Note: In 2002, this production had risen dramatically to a purported 66,000 metric tons of shrimp, and the total production for 2003 was estimated to be around 90,000 metric tons according to the industry report “World Shrimp Farming, 2003” by Bob Rosenberry)

Ceara is the country’s third largest shrimp producing state, producing almost 5000 tonnes of the seafood from farms operated by at least 36 companies. In Brazil overall, at least 6,250 hectares of land has been turned into shrimp farms. Over the next few years, shrimp production in the country is expected to expand significantly.

For more information or copies of the public awareness film (currently available on DVD, in Portugese), contact EJF on 0207 359 0440 or 07977 239 406

For detailed background on EJFâs shrimp campaign, copies of all reports documenting international investigations into shrimp farming, news releases and campaigning material, see www.ejfoundation.org

EDITORS NOTES:
EJF is a London-based environmental and human rights organisation that has undertaken global in-depth investigations into the impact of shrimp production. EJF is currently campaigning for fundamental change in the way shrimp (also known as prawns) is produced.

Shrimp farming is worth US$6.9 billion at the farm gate and US$50-60 billion at the point of retail

Around one third of global prawn production is from farming (the remainder are wild-caught).

The second General Assembly of the Redmanglar conference took place in Fortaleza between 30th August and 4th September 2004. seeWEBSITE for more info.

Shrimp are farmed in about 50 countries – 99% of farmed production is from developing countries. Leading producers (2000) were Thailand, China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Ecuador, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Mexico and Brazil.
In a few countries, such as Malaysia and China, up to 50% of farmed shrimp are consumed domestically, but for most of the leading producers, shrimp are farmed for export, mainly to Europe, the USA and Japan.
In 2001, the UK imported 83,196 tonnes of shrimp worth over £353 million. 43% came from Asia and Oceania; 40% of the total were warm-water shrimp.
Professor Ivan Valiela and colleagues at the Boston University Marine Program reported (2001) that conversion to shrimp aquaculture is responsible for 38% of total mangrove destruction, and that ‘shrimp culture is, by a considerable margin, the greatest cause of mangrove loss’
In at least 12 countries, wetland sites listed as having international importance under the Ramsar Convention have been damaged or destroyed.
Harmful chemicals include antibiotics that persist in the environment and others such as chloramphenicol which are banned for food production by the EU and the USA because of severe risks to human health (links between their use and diseases such as aplastic anaemia and leukaemia). Pesticides such as endosulfan that are proven to be highly toxic and fatal to marine and other organisms are widely used.
There have been incidents where banned antibiotics have been discovered in shrimp consignments entering Europe (food safety agencies test consignments and have rejected or destroyed contaminated consignments).
The terms ‘shrimp’ and ‘prawn’ can be used interchangeably – EJF makes no distinction between the two.

From: “Andrew Wasley”
andrew.wasley@ejfoundation.org

=================================

Farming the Seas scheduled to air nationally as a PBS Special on NOVEMBER 18, 2004

Farming the Seas, our sequel to Empty Oceans Empty Nets, is scheduled to air nationally as a PBS Special on NOVEMBER 18, 2004. KQED San Francisco (our presenting station) will be working hard to coordinate the date and time with over 300 PBS stations around the U.S. Farming the Seas, recently awarded a CINE Golden Eagle, will be the first documentary to reach a national audience about the problems and potential of aquaculture. The film has the potential to inform millions of viewers about how they can help encourage sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, both as consumers and as citizens.
We are writing to request your help in promoting the national airdate for Farming the Seas to your members, associates, colleagues & friends either through EMAIL POSTCARDS (we can make, you can customize), a BANNER HOTLINK on your website, or both.

There may be opportunities to coordinate interviews/ articles that feature you or your scientists, researchers, chefs and spokespeople promoting both your organization and our film (for instance, on a call in show like KQED’s Forum with Michael Kraszny) and discussing the problems and potentials of aquaculture.

We are also open to any ideas you have for cross-marketing around the Farming the Seas National Airdate.

Thanks for looking over our request & please let us know if you’re interested in working with us to promote Farming the Seas…the countdown begins!

From: Rivkah Beth Medow
steve@habitatmedia.org

===================

WEBSITE LAUNCHED FOR WOMEN IN FISHERIES. By the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF), August 2004. ICSF has launched a website on issues relating to women and gender in fisheries. In most fishing communities, women play a key role in fisheries and in maintaining households and communities. Accessible at
www.wif.icsf.net.

From: “Benjamin Brown”
map-indo@dps.centrin.net.id

====================================

NEW WEBSITE AGAINST BILATERAL FREE TRADE & INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS

***Please crosspost widely and forward to anyone you think may be interested*** (Spanish and French versions below)

ANNOUNCING WWW.BILATERALS.ORG
A NEW WEBSITE AGAINST BILATERAL FREE TRADE & INVESTMENT AGREEMENTS

A rash of bilateral free trade and investment agreements is spreading quietly and quickly across the planet. But peoples’ movements in a growing number of countries are mobilising to fight and neutralise them.

September 2004

Dear friends and colleagues,

We would like to invite you to participate in a new collaborative website to support the struggle against bilateral free trade and investment agreements: www.bilaterals.org.

Bilaterals?

Since the early 1990s, well before the collapse of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks in Cancun, the US has been aggressively pushing bilateral free trade and investment agreements on countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific. Other powerful governments, like the European Union, Canada, Switzerland and Japan, are doing the same, especially as the direction and pace of WTO talks remain uncertain. Meanwhile, a number of governments in the global South, like India and Thailand, are pursuing bilateral trade and investment agreements with each other…

To participate, all you need to do is to register as a member of the site. This will allow you to post documents, photos or links, participate in the discussion forums and be listed as a contact person if you wish. While the site is structured in English, you can post materials in any language. For more details, please go to www.bilaterals.org.

On behalf of the website initiators,

Aziz Choudry
GATT Watchdog
Member, Board of Convenors, Asia-Pacific Research Network

Renée Vellvé
GRAIN

From: zakir kibria banglapraxis@yahoo.com

======================

The Wetland Conservation Awards (“for actions that have significantly contributed to long-term conservation and sustainable use of wetlands”) were established by the Ramsar Convention in 1996 in order to recognize and honor the contributions of individuals, organizations, and governments around the world towards promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

The 2005 Awards will be made in the three categories of management, science, and education, and as in the past each will be accompanied by the Evian Special Prize of US$ 10,000, courtesy of the Danone Group (France).

The deadline for nominations is 31 October 2004, so friends of wetlands will now be scurrying to pass this information on to their colleagues and, indeed, to nominate one or more of their mentors and formative influences on their careers or even themselves. The general index page, with criteria and nomination forms in English, Français, and Español, can be seen at here.

From: Ms. Esther Blom, Programme Officer
NC-IUCN/ Small Grants Programmes (Wetlands and Tropical Rain Forests)
E: esther.blom@nciucn.nl

=========================

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS

Note: The previous issue of the MASP news had an error in the announcement concerning the e-mail address for ordering a copy of the SEAFDEC publication on mangroves. The corrected e-mail address to contact is now printed below:

The Handbook of Philippine Mangroves – Panay (2004) by
J.H. Primavera, R.B. Sadaba, M.J.H. Lebata and J.P. Altamirano is:

- a field guide for local communities, NGOs, students, teachers and
researchers to identify 35 species of Philippine mangroves based on
plant morphology (shape, color, texture, size), and biology and ecology
(substrate, intertidal level, reproductive season)
- covers 106 pages with numerous full color photos, has a laminated cover
and handy size ideal for field use
- chapters on Importance of Mangroves, Decline and Legislation,
Conservation, Mangrove-Friendly Aquaculture, Rehabilitation

For orders, please contact:
SALES AND CIRCULATION
SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department
Tigbauan, Iloilo 5021
Philippines
Tel (6333) 511-9172
Fax (6333) 511-8709
Email sales@aqd.seafdec.org.ph

==========================

The Environmentalism of the Poor: A Study of Ecological Conflicts and Valuation, Joan Martinez-Alier, Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2002.

Reviewed by Sylvia Bowerbank

The Environmentalism of the Poor by economist and activist Joan Martinez-Alier makes a major contribution towards building an international environmental justice movement.

Martinez-Alier distinguishes three crosscutting currents of environmentalism. First is the cult of the wilderness, a movement based on a deeply felt attachment to wild places, which radiates its power from wealthy northern capitals, such as Washington and Geneva, towards Africa, Asia and South America by means of well-organized bodies that act internationally to reserve the remnants of pristine nature outside the interests of producers and consumers.

Second is the gospel of eco-efficiency, the credo of engineers and economists, which treats ecology as a managerial science and considers sustainable development to be producible by means of strategic interventions (such as eco-taxes and emission permits) and technological efficiencies (such as new materials and energy-saving devices).

Then there is the environmentalism of the poor, the livelihood movement of the majority of the people of the world, especially the peoples of the south, who have a material interest in the environment as a source and requirement for basic livelihood and who suffer disproportionately from the growing requirements of the highly industrialized societies of the north.

According to Martinez-Alier, the first two currents dominate in the United States, where the third current occurs only as part of the environmental justice movement, which derives from the civil rights movement and is too concerned about the local needs of ethnic minorities rather than about global issues, such as biopiracy, biosafety and climate change.

The Environmentalism of the Poor challenges environmentalists to develop new research priorities, archives and methods with the capacity to identify and conceptualize the thousands of local ecological distribution conflicts that are taking place worldwide, but which are not now picked up either by regional media or by international environmental networks. In one chapter she provides an empirical study of the people living in mangroves – from Ecuador and Honduras to Thailand and Indonesia – who are fighting with shrimp farmers. The mangroves are destroyed by the creation of aquaculture ponds to meet the lucrative export markets of this burgeoning industry. The mostly northern consumers of the shrimp remain blissfully unaware of the social and environmental havoc they cause.

Martinez-Alier pays due attention to the distinctive languages of valuation used by the poor to defend their environments and livelihoods, often in resistance to their own governments as well as to multinational (including Canadian) corporations. Ever mindful of where power lies, she urges the poor to learn the idioms of valuation used by North Americans and Europeans in order to mobilize international support systems – northern media, NGOs, judicial courts and wildlife groups.

The book discusses the potential for two emerging disciplinary fields, ecological economics and political ecology, which aim to theorize alternative models for understanding the structural relation between ecological distribution conflicts, sustainability and valuation. Arguing that a single valuation system using the measuring rod of the market cannot suffice to “take Nature into account,” ecological economists are developing multicriteria methods appropriate to the diversity of valuation idioms. These methods would recognize appeals to such things as the sacredness of nature, tribal identity or Indigenous territorial rights, which are used by people in actual environmental conflicts.

Political ecology is a related field that studies ecological distribution conflicts in their full complexity in order to develop newprocesses of social deliberation, capable of integrating local idioms of resistance against the abuse of environments and loss of livelihood. With a few exceptions (a Canadian contribution is Political Ecology: Global and Local, edited by Roger Keil et al.), Martinez-Alier asserts that the work of political ecology is being done mostly by Third World activists, who are creating an explosion of research in journals, leaflets and internet communications, often written in languages other than English. Her bibliography provides an invaluable guide to sources in English.

Sylvia Bowerbank is a professor in the Arts and Science Programme at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

From: <mapasia@loxinfo.co.th>

AQUACULTURE CORNER
Seattle company gets funding for closed systems that prevent sea lice in
salmon farms

SEAFOOD.COM NEWS Broadcast News (BN)
Sept 1, 2004

SEATTLE — A Seattle-area company that says it can prevent the spread of
sea-lice in fish farms and is set to build its new system off the coast of
B-C.

The president of Mariculture Systems says the one million dollars in funding
needed for the company’s Sargo Rearing system is days away from being
secured.

Dave Meilahn says that means construction on the closed-container system
would start early this winter off the coast of Quadra Island near Campbell
River.

The system has four tanks that filters out surface contaminants and algae.

Meilahn claims the filters stop sea lice and says each tank — which is
capable of holding 50-thousand fish — is secure from the problem of escaped
fish.

He says the company is also seeking permits to have the tanks installed off
B-C’s northern coast — the centre of controversy over 10 potential new
open-net fish farms.

The first system of its kind is expected to be in full operation by April.

Copyright 2004 Press News Limited, All Rights Reserved

From: Lynn Hunter hunterlynn@shaw.ca

==================

Merger to make largest fish-farming group

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Monday, September 13, 2004

OSLO, Norway — Nutreco of the Netherlands and Norway’s Stolt-Nielsen AS on Monday announced plans to merge their fish-farming operations into the world’s largest aquaculture group.

The new concern, which will retain Nutreco’s Marine Harvest name, will employ more than 6,000 people and expects $1.23 billion in annual sales of farmed salmon, trout and other fish, a news release said.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed Monday, Nutreco would own 75 percent and Stolt-Nielson, through its Stolt Sea Farm Holdings Plc, will own 25 percent of the new group after the merger is completed during the first half of 2005.

“The new Marine Harvest will be the undisputed global leader in farmed salmon and other fish species,” said Hans den Bieman, chief operating officer of Nutreco Aquaculture and designated president of the new group…..

….The new company will be named Marine Harvest.

….The new Marine Harvest will incorporate annual sales of approximately EUR 1 billion in salmon, salmon trout and other farmed fish and will possess a high quality product portfolio including species such as cod, halibut, sturgeon, tilapia, barramundi and yellowtail. It is expected that this segment of species other than salmon will grow to 10% of sales in 2007. Marine Harvest will employ over 6,000 employees.

From: Lynn Hunter hunterlynn@shaw.ca

The MAP News, 144th Ed., 25 Aug 2004

Dear Friends,

This is the 144th Edition of the Mangrove Action Project News.

This newsletter is brought to you for free, but PLEASE help MAP stay in this fight for the future by becoming a donating subscriber today! Contact: mangroveap@olympus.net

Important Note: Soon MAP will be receiving our Children’s Mangrove Art 2005 Calendars, which we hope to use as part of this year’s membership drive and general fundraiser. In addition to these beautiful calendars, we are selling packets of 5 beautiful greeting cards containing several mangrove images from Monica Gutierrez-Quarto’s artwork. to raise funds for MAP, and like the Children’s Art Calendar, hope that we can find partners to help us display and sell these card packets. Again, these could be sold on consignment or purchased outright by book stores, gift shops, etc..

We are now requesting your help in selling both the calendars and card sets for MAP. If interested, please let us know how many calendars and card sets you will need.

Note: The following costs are based upon the numbers of calendars ordered:

The Calendars
1-49 Calendars @ $12 per calendar including postage in the US, $14 for outside the US
50-99 @ $10 per calendar including postage $12 outside the US
100 or more at $8 per calendar including postage, $10 outside the US

The Card Sets
Each packet of 5 cards is being sold by MAP for $10. plus postage.

The calendars should be finished and ready for mailing by next week.

Salud,
Alfredo Quarto, Mangrove Action Project

Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.

Contents for MAP NEWS, 144th Edition, 25 August 2004
FEATURE STORY
Toxic salmon just another tainted food

MAP WORKS
MAP Seeking Professional Development Coordinator
New Website On Mangrove Restoration Launched
Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop
ENJOYABLE WAYS TO HELP SUPPORT MAP
Work-Study Tour In the Mangroves of Mexico
MAP Eco-Study Tours In Thailand

AFRICA
Angola
New Mangrove Center Established in Angola
Viet Nam, Angola agree on fisheries cooperation framework

ASIA
S.E. ASIA

Thailand
Shrimps reveal their place of origin
Chemical-free shrimp
Saving Phuket’s last mangrove, Murder hardens villagers’ resolve
CP Foods bullish on US outlook
STREET WISE : Enough shrimp to go round?
SID chief vows to find killers of slain activist
Villagers demanding justice for slain leader
Four mothers receive environmental awards
Gulf of Thailand Elevated Bridge Project Threatens Coastal Habitat
Wetland Wilderness under threat

Vietnam
Communes prosper behind Red Cross funded mangrove dykes
Illegal salt farming, shrimp breeding threaten Can Gio mangrove reserve
NGOs condemn US shrimp duties on Vietnam
Ministry takes $320m action on aquaculture

Indonesia
Indonesia raises new worries for shrimpers
Newmont Gold Mine Investigated for Polluting Indonesian Waters

S. ASIA

India
US anti-dumping duty hits Andhra shrimp farmers

Bangladesh
Shrimp export earnings may quadruple by 2008

China
China plans more work on Mekong

OCEANIA
Australia
WWF Threatens Australian Old-Growth Forests

LATIN AMERICA
Ecuador
Eucalyptus monocultures in the southwest of Esmeraldas

NORTH AMERICA
USA
Shrimp Task Force Report Heats Up Controversy in US

ANNOUNCEMNETS
SF launches website on women in fisheries
GLOMIS Database On Mangroves

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS
New Popular Children’s Book On Mangroves
The Handbook of Philippine Mangroves -
Asian Wetland Symposium 2005, February 2005, India.

Call For Papers
Coastal Zone Conference

AQUACULTURE CORNER
Grains for fish feed
United Fishermen, politicians, Native communities worry about aquaculture

FEATURE STORY
Toxic salmon just another tainted food

By JEREMY BROWN
GUEST COLUMNIST

Following an extensive study earlier this year that identified significant levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in farmed salmon, the same authors have now released a follow-up study of the widely used flame
retardant polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in salmon.

Although Indiana University’s Dr. Ronald Hites and colleagues found a similar pattern of contamination, with highest levels from European salmon farms, what should alarm us particularly is that these potential carcinogens
are showing up where we should least want to find them, in wild salmon caught off the Oregon and British Columbia coasts.

The casual response might be simply to not eat fish, which Americans in general don’t eat often anyway despite the health benefits of long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids that cannot be derived from non-marine sources.

But further inquiry shows us that traces of PBDEs also are found in milk, beef and other far more staple parts of the American diet.

In November of last year, the journal Environmental Health Perspectives detailed the presence of PBDEs in the most vital meal in the human diet; breast milk.

There is no adequate substitute for breast-feeding an infant, and the health benefits of eating fish are well documented. Discouraging those practices likely would increase malnutrition, especially in poor and minority communities that have less access to alternatives.

Rather, we must insist that all efforts are made to clean up existing pollution and to remove chemicals from production.

Indeed, the manufacture of PCBs has been banned for some time, and several states, including Washington, are planning measures on PBDEs in the near future. Ceasing production is the first step, but it is through thoughtless
disposal that much of these contaminants enter the environment. The state needs to take a strong lead in regulating waste management and contaminated
discharge.

PCBs and PBDEs are fat-soluble and accumulate in the tissue of small organisms and then become concentrated as they pass up the food chain.

The top of the Puget Sound food chain, the orca or killer whale, may indeed be seriously threatened by these same contaminants, which have been found at high levels in their tissues.

We are all responsible for the careless way we have handled many toxic materials.

Rather than pointing fingers and blaming the messenger, we need to push legislators for stricter controls and higher standards. Once these chemicals get out, we now know they will come back to haunt us. It’s a message we ignore at our peril.

Jeremy Brown is a commercial fisherman from Bellingham.

U.S. Salmon Network — posted by mskladany@iatp.org

MAP WORKS
MAP Seeking Professional Development Coordinator

Mangrove Action Project is now seeking to fill an important new position within our staff for an experienced and dynamic Development Coordinator. This person will be responsible for fundraising and implementing a comprehensive development and public relations program for MAP. Previous related work with non-profits is required, as are strong communication and organizational skills and experience in fundraising, including grant writing, membership drives and organizing public events.

For more details, please write MAP at mangroveap@olympus.net, o
r call at 360-452-5866

———-

New Website On Mangrove Restoration Launched

Robin Lewis would like to announce the opening of the web page www.mangroverestoration.com and the availability of the paper:

Stevenson, N. J., R. R. Lewis and P. R. Burbridge. 1999. Disused shrimp ponds and mangrove rehabilitation. Pages 277-297 in “An International Perspective on Wetland Rehabilitation”, W. J. Streever (Ed.). Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands. 338 pp.

at:

PDF
Hard copies may be reqested from: SherryCapaz@aol.com

———-

ANNOUNCEMENT: Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop

The third “Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop will be held at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, in Hollywood, Florida, USA, 21-24 February 2005. The training site is within a 500 ha mangrove restoration project at West Lake Park operated by Broward County. The award-winning project was designed by Roy R. “Robin” Lewis III, who will be teaching the course.

The workshop includes an introduction to mangrove forest ecology, management options and problems, and restoration design issues. The class programs are all given in a PowerPoint format, and each student is provided with a print out of the presentation and additional handouts including monitoring reports for typical restoration projects. Case studies of 5 successful mangrove restoration projects, and several unsuccessful projects, are discussed. Field trips are taken within the 500 ha West Lake Park mangrove restoration project (now 16 years old) and a new project just two years old, for a comparison.

The emphasis is on cost-effective successful mangrove management and restoration, and cost figures for typical projects are discussed and explained. The hydrologic restoration of mangroves is emphasized as the best approach to successful restoration at minimal cost (see Erftemeijer and Lewis 2000, Lewis 1999, 2000a, 2000b, Lewis and Marshall 1998, Lewis and Streever 2000, Stevenson et. al 1999, and Turner and Lewis 1997, for further discussion about hydrologic restoration of mangroves). Planting of mangroves is discussed in light of the many failures of this alone to successfully restore mangroves.

Cost for the course not including travel to Ft. Lauderdale, lodging or food is $650, due by January 1, 2005. Two qualified students will be allowed to attend for free. This course is taught in conjunction with the Mangrove Action Project.

More information can be provided by Sherry Capaz at
and www.mangroverestoration.com.

From: LESrrl3@aol.com

=====
ENJOYABLE WAYS TO HELP SUPPORT MAP

MAP’s Art Gallery Website

Visit the Website of Chilean artist Monica Gutierrez-Quarto to view her gallery café of beautiful prints and paintings.

“I’m happy to introduce my gallery web site. www.gutierrez-Quartogallery.com
Please pass on to others to help increase the visibility A percentage of all sales generated via my website will go towards supporting the good work of Mangrove Action Project.”

For More Information, Please Contact: “monica gutierrez-quarto”

———-

Please Donate Your Frequent Flyer Miles To MAP!

Please consider helping MAP meet those demands for our presence at certain conferences and workshops whereby our greatest cost to attend important events is airfare, which often holds us back from attending important fora where MAP’s presence should be felt.

Please donate your frequent flyer miles to MAP so we can be in the right place at the right time to present MAP’s needed voice at such fora where too often the grassroots voice for the local communities and for the mangroves is not heard.

If you wish to donate your frequent flyer miles, please contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net.

Your help in this important matter will be much appreciated!

———-

Take A Coffee Break For the Mangroves!

Mangrove Action Project
and Grounds for Change

Help support the Mangrove Action Project through the purchase of Grounds for Change triple-certified coffee! Grounds for Change will donate 10% of purchase price to the Mangrove Action Project each time you make a purchase at the Grounds for Change web site. It’s a great way to support socially and environmentally-conscious coffee and healthy mangrove forests across the globe.

You can participate in one of two ways:

1. Visit the Mangrove Action Project web site and click on the DONATE TO MAP THROUGH YOUR NEXT CUP OF COFFEE link.

Or, Click on
2. www.groundsforchange.com/partners/MAP/

You will then be directed to the Grounds for Change web site.

Grounds for Change sells only Fair Trade, Organic, Shade-Grown coffee which is roasted by hand, to-order at their family owned facility on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. Grounds for Change is a member of TransFair USA, the Songbird Foundation and the Fair Trade Federation. Grounds for Change further supports fair trade economics by donating 1% of profits to the Fair Trade Federation.

Please note that in order for the 10% donation to be made to MAP, supporters must follow one of the two options outlined above.

From mangroveap@olympus.net

———-

Work-Study Tours In the Mangroves

Work-Study Tour In the Mangroves of Mexico

MAP Volunteer Work Study/Eco-Tour for Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Oct. 1-10, 2004

A mangrove-restoration and sea turtle conservation project on the Caribbean coast of Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico is being planned for Oct. 1-10, 2004. Depending upon interest and numbers of volunteers, this tour will help restore degraded mangroves and help rescue or care for threatened baby sea turtles, as well as explore the unique cenote and extensive reef ecosystems of the region, as well as visit the nearby Mayan ruins and beautiful beaches. Please join MAP and local volunteers from the surrounding communities in undertaking important beach cleanup and restoration work in paradise setting now threatened by short-sighted development. And, please join us at a three day workshop that deals with important and timely ecological and social justice issues.

MAP will be co-sponsoring this tour with the local NGO, SAVE, in Mexico. At least 10 volunteers are needed to firm up plans for this tour.

For more information, please contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net

———-

MAP Eco-Study Tours In Thailand

MANGROVE ACTION PROJECT,S
SPIRIT OF THAILAND COASTAL RESOURCES PROGRAM
An experiential study of Thailand,s coastal resources
And the people who depend on them

A new exciting two-week experiential ecology program will provide an opportunity to learn about Thailand,s mangrove forests and other critical, but often threatened coastal wetlands. Visit Thailand’s first coastal national park located on the Gulf of Thailand and world famous Phang Nga Bay and the Island of Phuket on the Andaman Sea. Learn about the ecological importance of mangroves, the endangered Dugong and see water birds, languors, and mud skippers. Learn what the Mangrove Action Project (MAP) and a local Thai NGO are doing to conserve mangroves. Stay with a fisherfolk family on an island in Phang Nga Bay and experience first hand their culture and efforts to protect the coastal resources on which that their livelihood depends. An extra John Gray SeaCanoe Eco-tour can be arranged at the tour end to view the amazing mangroves and caves of Phang Nga Bay from the vantage point of a kayak, a truly intimate marine experience. www.johngray-seacanoe.com/

Program Dates: Feb.14-28, 2005
Fee not including airfare or food: $800/person
For more information contact: Dr. Lamar Robert lamar@thailand.com
From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”

AFRICA
Angola

New Mangrove Center Established in Angola

An NGO-run teacher-training college (ADPP-EPF Ramiro), located to the south of Luanda, Angola, is trying to establish a bird and nature education centre for Angolan schoolchildren on its grounds. The college is on the shores of a wetland, the Saco dos Flamingos, which attracts a wide variety of waterbirds – including flamingos. The Environment Club within the teacher-training student body will provide interpretive programmes for visiting groups of schoolchildren. This centre will be a first of its kind in post-war Angola.

From Michelle de Cordova
mdecordova@nexus.ao

ASIA
S.E. ASIA
Thailand

Note: The following sounds good in theory but the data will only be as good as information which is entered….. At the farm level that will be difficult…..not knowing English etc….. There is no desire to record the chemicals put into your pond. Another problems is how will they keep shrimp lots from each farm separate during processing? In Thailand, for instance, there are thousands of small shrimp farms, each wuith their own variable methods of production.

Point of origin will not work in the foreseeable future in Thailand. Over 10 years ago the Thai Government tried to get Thai shrimp farmers to register (no cost to the farmer) and still today less than half are registered. Point of origin is only as good as the data entered so at the pond level (the most important step in the chain) you will have very poor information. The same goes for the Code of Conduct which has meant very little or no change at the pond level. Shrimp farmers interviewed in a recent study said farmers really didn’t have to change anything to get certified.

The NATION

Shrimps reveal their place of origin

Published on Aug 9, 2004

Exported Thai shrimps now reveal not only where they were born, nursed and fed, and details of their parents, but also the foods and medicines they took, and the processes they have been through ö and everything is traceable online.

To increase the fresh and frozen-food product industry,s export revenue, four parties ö frozen shrimp manufacturers, shrimp farmers, government agencies and software companies ö have joined to implement a food-traceability project using software to manage information in all processes, from farm to table.

According to a report from the Customs Department and Thai Frozen Foods Association, in 2000 Thailand exported more than 144,000 tonnes of fresh and frozen shrimp worldwide, generating more than Bt60 billion in revenue.

However, the numbers have gradually dropped each subsequent year, plunging dramatically to some 119,000 tonnes with revenue of about Bt35.9 billion in 2003.

It is hoped that the use of the software, which enables customers to trace back through all processes to the product,s origin, will effectively boost demand for shrimp internationally, especially in strict markets like Europe and Japan. “This, at the same time, sets standards for the products while differentiating the producers at export, as so far nobody has worked on food traceability in shrimps, said Supachai Lorlowhakarn, director of the National Innovation Agency.

The agency has coordinated and financed those involved from different industries.

In the initial phase, three food processors, including Pakfood, which is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of frozen foods and aquatic animals, the White Shrimp Producers Club, and four software companies ö ThaiCom Management Group, Intersol Consulting, Intelligent Solution and Service, and FXA Group ö worked on the project.

Each software company is responsible for a system needed to manage different processes in each of the groups involved with shrimps, from when they are first nursed and fed until they are frozen.

Since food traceability concerns three main aspects ö origin, safety and quality ö software used in the project will collect information such as place of birth, lineage, medical records, and use of protein supplements.

Software used at the sites of all parties includes systems to control the automatic mix-feed mill, a program for production quality control and management, and the food-product trace software that integrates information gathered from all processes.

Chatta Udomwongsa, FXA Group,s head of marketing, said the project,s implementation would turn around the whole process and force farmers as well as manufacturers to take care of their products in a more systematic way. “Software is a tool to make all information traceable and create transparency in the whole manufacturing line, he said.

FXA is a food industry software firm that created Web-based, data-tracing software enabling agricultural-product exporters to electronically collect and trace all data related to the processing of their products.

Farmers involved with the project have to note medical information, food, and size, either on paper or personal digital assistant, before keying in or transferring those details to a computer to build up a complete database.

Food processors have to key in information concerning the processes at their plants.

It is then possible for customers to trace every single step that the shrimps have gone through. The better and more precise the tracing system, the faster a producer can identify and resolve food safety or quality problems.

With the help of the software systems, if customers discover contamination in a frozen pack, they can find at which part of which process the contamination occurred.

Anukul Tamprasirt, managing director of ThaiCom Management Group, said that in order to make the software from different companies used in a range of processes work together, the companies would work to overcome application interface problems ö thus enabling the system parts to understand and talk to each other.

ThaiCom Management Group is responsible for the software for wireless terminals like Palms or PDAs which will be used by farmers to collect information about their produce.

Suchalee Pongprasert, The Nation

suchalee@nationgroup.com

———-

Bangkok Post Aug.13, 2004

Chemical-free shrimp

Biotechnological farming is seen as a key to salvaging the B70bn industry that has been hit hard over the past two years by contaminants in shipments and anti-dumping duties

Story by WALAILAK KEERATIPIPATPONG and PHUSADEE ARUNMAS

A shrimp farm in Rayong operated by the Sawee Farm Co, a subsidiary of Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc, uses probiotic farming techniques and the ponds are covered with netting in order to keep out birds.
Medical researchers have long hailed the potential health benefits for humans of probiotics and prebiotics in products such as yoghurt, which help promote beneficial bacteria in the digestive system.

Now shrimp farmers are being encouraged to pick up on the trend. The Fisheries Department is suggesting that they replace drugs and food supplements with probiotic microbes in shrimp feed in order to make shrimp free of hazardous chemical substances and reduce farm production costs.

Probiotics are foods that contain live bacteria that produce health-promoting properties while prebiotics are foods or nutrients used by specific bacteria. The latter can be added to the diet to increase the chances of these particular bacteria growing and thriving in the intestine.

“We called the method biotechnological farming. The microbes we used are baccillus and lactobacillus that are cultured locally in the form of liquid and tablets and cost less than imported ones,” said Siri Tookwinas, an expert on shrimp culture with the Fisheries Department.

Mr Siri said probiotics had been used widely in shrimp farming in many countries in the hope that it could make aquaculture products free of contaminants and chemicals that might be harmful to consumers’ health.

Biotechnological farming is being promoted in earnest after the 70-billion-baht local shrimp industry has been hard hit for two years following the rejection by the European Union of shipments containing chloramphenicol, a prohibited class of chemical.

Though the number of biotechnological farms today is still low, at fewer than 2,000 or 10% of more than 20,000 shrimp farms in Thailand, the official is optimistic that many more farmers will adopt the method in the near future.

Heavy promotion will help them realise the benefits of using probiotics instead of antibiotic drugs to kill diseases. The use of chloramphenicol, and 15 other chemicals, by shrimp farms has been banned since early this year.

Pisit Ohmpornnuwat, president of C.P.Merchandising Co, a subsidiary of CPF, said that probiotic farming was one way to tap the growing demand for food safety among buying countries.

The company, which earned around six billion baht from exporting 14,000 tonnes of shrimp last year, started to introduce probiotic farming to its 50 shrimp farms, mainly in the eastern and southern regions, three years ago.

Sanir Memongkolkuldilok, a vice-president in charge of CPF’s aquaculture business, said that under the method, different microbes were put in the pond to prevent diseases caused by bacteria and some were mixed in shrimp feed.

“Probiotic farming is a prevention programme that suits both black tiger shrimp and vannamei shrimp, better known as white shrimp by local farmers,” he said.

All microbes are produced by the firm and add about 5-10% to the production cost. But Mr Sanir said the extra cost was worthwhile when taking into account the high survival rate of about 70% to 80%. The programme has been developed for seven years and was now certified by the Fisheries Department including foreign buyers operating in Thailand such as British retail chain, Tesco.

Mr Pisit said many world-class retailers were emphasising food safety very heavily. They have even sent teams to test water in the ponds to see whether it is safe.

“They will be more satisfied buying food in which the ingredients could be traced back as far as feed. Therefore, traceability is quite important for shrimp producers today,” he said.

CPF chief executive officer Adirek Sripratak believes that the farming could make Thai shrimp more competitive globally, even in the United States where Thai shrimp now face anti-dumping duties ranging from 5.56% to 10.25%.

But some industry analysts expect the export market to become stiffer. Thai shrimp will compete hard with products from China and Vietnam in markets such as Japan as the US has imposed high dumping duties for shrimp imports from these two countries, from 7.6% to 112% for China and 12.11% to 93.13% for Vietnam.

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”

———-

Saving Phuket’s last mangrove
Murder hardens villagers’ resolve

NAUVARAT SUKSAMRAN
BANGKOK POST

Phuket _ The murder of Jurin Ratchapol, a leader of the Pa Khlok Mangrove Forest Conservation Group in Phuket, has not discouraged his neighbours and other local people from protecting the last mangrove forest of this famous tourist destination.

Instead, they have been inspired to keep up their guard and fight what they call the greed that would otherwise destroy the ecological system that is essential to their livelihood.

Tambon Pa Khlok in Phuket’s Thalang district covers an area of about 35 square kilometres where about 30,000 people live in nine villages.
Jurin was shot dead in 2001 while opposing a businessman’s plan to turn the mangrove forest into a prawn farm.

A gunman and the businessman were later arrested and tried in Criminal Court. The gunman was sentenced to life imprisonment but the businessman who was suspected of masterminding the murder walked free because the state lacked sufficient evidence.

Despite the murder, the remaining members of the Ratchapol family, Jurin’s five siblings, are determined to continue their life in Ban Pa Khlok. The idea of moving out has never entered their minds, and they say they are determined to see justice done.

“We were born here and will die here,” said Jurai, one of his sisters.

Jurin’s death three years ago was a turning point for villagers in tambon Pa Khlok. His siblings said encroachment against the mangrove forest and inland forests had since stopped. Prawn farms have faded away and been replaced with coconut plantations, though these changes may also have resulted from plunging prawn prices.

More villagers have joined efforts by local people to raise awareness of environmental conservation. Staff of non-governmental organisations and government officials have turned up to help support their bid to protect the mangrove forest and learn forest conservation from them.

The Pa Khlok mangrove forest has been put on a watch list of local and overseas organisations.
Ms Jurai said the people’s organisation also enjoys support from Her Majesty the Queen, with occupational promotion projects and a cooperative fund. As a result, villagers do not need loans under the government’s village fund scheme because their cooperative fund is already enough.

Jurun, Jurin’s elder brother, said villagers take turns to stand guard to protect the mangrove forest and its Pa Khlok bay.

They have also run reforestation programmes.

“We work under a network that covers all nine villages and the village committees of tambon Pa
Khlok. We formed the forest conservation group and villagers can now depend on the natural resources of the forest. We also enjoy financial support from many organisations,” Jurun said.

People in the nine villages introduced ecological tours, which won an award from the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The success inspired villagers to go into other tourism businesses including a guide service and restaurants. They also organise training sessions to raise environmental awareness.

Chakrapan Karnkanok, assistant chief of the Pa Khlok tambon administration organisation, said the ecological system of Pa Khlok bay had improved in the past three years and villagers could once again depend on coastal fishing, which was the main way they earned a living.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment opened a local forest protection unit of more than 10 officials who worked with villagers, he said. “New problems in this locality of about 30,000 people concern a few housing estate projects to be developed in the vicinity. They will have an impact on the ecology,” he said.

The local administrative organisation has drawn up a 3-year environmental protection plan that focuses on proper wastewater treatment and waste disposal. This was to protect the Pa Khlok mangrove forest, which has been rehabilitated so well it has been picked as the location for many advertisements, Mr Chakrapan said.

From: Mike Shanahan mikeshanahan@yahoo.com

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THE NATION

SHRIMP EXPORTS: CP Foods bullish on US outlook

Published on Aug 7, 2004

Lower anti-dumping duties bode well for company’s sales, profit

Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc expects to double its profit from shrimp exports next year now that the US Commerce Department has decided to slap a lower dumping duties on Thai shrimp compared to some other country’s crustaceans.

Adirek Sripratak, president and chief executive of the company, said that Thailand’s overall shrimp production would rise to a range of 500,000-600,000 tonnes next year from 250,000-300,000 tonnes this year due to the change. Consequently, the company’s revenues should rise to Bt12 billion in 2005 from an expected Bt6 billion this year.

The US Commerce Department late last month announced a 6.39-per-cent anti-dumping duty rate for Thai shrimp, which is lower than duties it imposed on China, India, Vietnam, Brazil and Ecuador. The United States slapped Brazilian and Chinese prawns, for instance, with 36.9-per-cent and 49-per-cent duties, respectively.

Adirak said the lower rates on Thai shrimp should make it more competitive in the US.

Charoen Pokphand Foods could raise 14,000 tonnes of shrimp for export this year and 32,000 tonnes next year. Sea products should account for 30 per cent of the company’s expected revenues of Bt90 billion this year. Adirak said seafood’s share of sales should grow to 35 per cent next year due to the positive outlook for shrimp exports.

The company has spent Bt1 billion building three factories in Rayong province to expand production.

“We believe the shrimp industry is returning to the boom period now that an unclear situation has passed,” he said.

The US is a major market for Thai shrimp. It imports 500,000 tonnes of prawns annually mainly from Brazil, China, Thailand, India and Vietnam.

Pisit Ohmpornnuwat, president of CP Merchandising Co Ltd, said the company emphasised chemical-free shrimp farming and shunned the use of antibiotics to appease major markets such as the European Union and Japan, which have strict food-safety and chemical-trace guidelines.

“The shrimp business has become more difficult since standards in importing countries have forced producers to make their products meet standards,” Pisit said.

Benjaprut Akkarasriprapai

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia” mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

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THE NATION

STREET WISE : Enough shrimp to go round?

Published on Aug 12, 2004

The Bush administration,s anti-dumping rulings on shrimp exports have turned quite well for Thailand after all.

Shrimp from Thailand and five other countries, the exports of which account for 75 per cent of US shrimp imports, will now be subjected to new penalty tariffs. That could only mean higher prices in the United States. After all, imported shrimp grown in the developing world are what most Americans eat. Nearly 87 per cent of shrimp on the market comes from overseas. US shrimpers blame the other countries, artificially low prices for the foreign prawns, market share.

The rulings hurt the six countries, exporters, but American shrimp lovers are also disturbed. They are now fretting about higher shrimp prices due to the tariffs.

To gauge mood of the shrimp market, Associated Press recently asked American seafood restaurant chains about the pricing outlook of shrimp at their eateries.

The conclusion of the article? Prices will rise, but not overnight.

Several restaurant chains said they did not expect prices of shrimp entrees and cocktails to go up for at least a few more months thanks to previous agreements with suppliers that are still priced based on the pre-tariff rate.

Legal Sea Foods, a restaurant chain that spans the Atlantic coast, anticipates an absolute maximum increase of 10 per cent to come in November.

Thailand, fortunately, has been hit with the lowest anti-dumping tariffs of the six countries, which is good for exporters as well as at the macro-economic level.

But the bad news is Thai consumers may suffer. As more shrimp leaves the Kingdom, supplies here could shrink ö and that means prices could be hiked.

Hmm, it is difficult to choose between benefits to the country and the health of our own pockets.

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CHAROEN’S MURDER

SID chief vows to find killers of slain activist

BHANRAVEE TANSUBHAPOL

The Special Investigation Department (SID) will soon delve further into the slaying of activist Charoen Wat-aksorn now the investigation has been transferred to it from Region 7 police.

Pol Gen Sombat Amornwiwat, SID director-general, said Region 7 police would send the results of their own investigation into the case to him today.

The SID will interrogate 60 witnesses in Prachuap Khiri Khan and ask for the case to be transferred from the Provincial Court to the Criminal Court.

He said the SID would explore all possible reasons behind Charoen’s murder including his allegations of land encroachment in tambon Bo Nok, his campaign against the Bo Nok-Hin Krut coal-fired power plant construction and any personal conflicts he may have had.

Charoen was gunned down in Prachuap Khiri Khan on June 21 while getting off a bus from Bangkok.

He had just returned from testifying before a Senate panel about the land grab scam in tambon Bo Nok.

Pol Gen Sombat will travel to the province soon to investigate those involved including local influential figures alleged to be the masterminds behind the killing.

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CRIME – FOREST CONSERVATIONIST KILLING

Villagers demanding justice for slain leader

A group of villagers from Lampang province will come to Bangkok tomorrow to demand justice for Supol Sirichan, a forest conservationist who was shot dead on the night of Aug 11 in Thoen district.

Supol, 58, headman of Ban Den Udom in tambon Mae Mok, Thoen district, was a member of the village’s community forest committee and a staunch opponent of forest poachers. He was gunned down in the village by a group of unidentified men last Wednesday night.

Two days before the attack, Supol and other community forest committee members told police in tambon Wiang Mok that forest poachers had cut down trees in Mae Mok forest and were preparing to transport logs out.

Police set up a checkpoint to intercept the poachers. They arrested one suspect and seized three logs.

Supol had long been at odds with local influential figures who had encroached on community forests.

On Monday, about 200 members of the Network of Northern Community Forests paraded a coffin in front of Lampang’s city hall and demanded Supol’s killers be brought to justice.

Governor Amornthat Niratisayakul and provincial police chief Maj-Gen Thirasak Chukijkhun promised speedy action.

Sisaket Saman, a provincial human rights coordinator, said yesterday that he would lead about 10 villagers from Ban Den Udom to Bangkok tomorrow to ask the Senate committees on public participation and on social development and human security to push authorities handling the Supol murder case to take quick action.

Mr Sisaket said Supol’s killing had caused much fear among villagers who played a leading role in forest protection. They had sought police protection but received no response.

Chiang Rai senator Tuanjai Deethes said a team of senators would go to Lampang to look into the alleged forest encroachment.

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”

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Bangkok Post Aug.3, 2004

Four mothers receive environmental awards

One special mother from each region will receive recognition for dedicated work with nature

The Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies at Mahidol University is honouring a mother from each of the country’s four regions for outstanding contributions to environment protection in order to commemorate National Mother’s Day.

(Note: One of the womern chosen is MIYA HAWA
45, A FISHERWOMAN from TRANG Province who has helped conserve mangroves in her area..)

The Small-Scale Fisherfolk Club of Trang based in Ban Chaomai is known in the area for its strong role in protecting the environment of the province’s sea and coast. Conservation programmes are decades old, and Miya Hawa joined early on. Since 1991, she has been one of the strongest leaders. Among other projects, she and other group members have protected and nurtured sea grasses, rare dugongs, dolphins and the province’s unique flora and fauna in general. The programmes have extended to native herbs, which now are abundant. The group’s many successes have been copied and adopted for other projects elsewhere.

Miya has spread awareness to fishermen in the South of the damage done by push nets and explosives, urging them to employ traditional methods to sustain their livelihood.

She taught her children to love and protect their natural resources as she often took them with her on her work and while fishing.

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia” mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

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Gulf of Thailand Elevated Bridge Project Threatens Coastal Habitat

There are plans underway in Thailand to build a 47 km long elevated highway across the corner of the Inner Gulf of Thailand as a short cut to the South, which would have massive ecological impacts on one of the most important feeding and resting sites for shorebirds in Southeast Asia. It is also a site of great biodiversity that sustains thousands of local livelihoods and these too could be lost as uncontrolled industrial developments push south from Bangkok along the coast of the upper Gulf of Thailand.

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Bangkok Post August 24, 2003

Wetland Wilderness under threat

The extraordinary natural environment on Bangkok’s doorstep needs to be preserved

Story by Philip D. Round and pictures by Smith Suthibut

The rich and varied ecosystem of the Inner Gulf of Thailand supports a variety of water and shorebirds, both residents and migrants.

To our left stretches a huge, mangrove-fringed bay bordering a vast expanse of mudflats, flashing silver in the sunlight and studded with thousands of small moving dots _ migratory plovers and sandpipers probing the soft sediment with their bills for marine worms, tiny shrimps or shellfish.

Here and there, human figures also move ponderously through the mud, collecting cockles or other bounty for the local markets, while Great Crested Terns perch on the bamboo stakes of fish traps, waiting for the tide to come in so they can plunge-dive on to the shoals of small fish.

To our right stretches a pristine sand beach. The upper shore, beyond the reach of spring tides, is covered with a dense mat of the purple-flowered phak bung thalae, (Ipomoea pescaprae).

Here, beyond the reach of the highest high tides, a few pairs of Malaysian Plovers have laid their eggs in shallow depressions scraped in the sand. Wind-crabs skitter across the clear-white sands of the lower shore, while Sanderlings, a kind of sandpiper, dance along the tideline on twinkling legs following the ebb and flow of each breaking wave front.

It is an idyllic scene. Other than engine noise from distant fishing boats, there is scarcely any intrusion from the noise and bustle of the 21st century.

Trang? Krabi? The Mergui Archipelago? No. As the curlew flies, we are only a few tens of kilometres from downtown Bangkok.

The gleaming white tanks of the onshore oil depot at Bang Kaew, at the edge of our field of view, remind us that we are in Phetchaburi Province, at Laem Phak Bia. This isolated four-kilometre long sandspit in Ban Laem district marks the transition zone or ecotone between the sheltered, richly productive mangrove and mudflat ecosystem of the inner gulf around Bangkok, and the more exposed sandy beaches stretching hundreds of kilometres southwards to Prachuap Khiri Khan and beyond.

This near-pristine piece of coast is surely the most stunning piece of scenery anywhere in the vicinity of Bangkok. Yet it is only one small part of the rich and varied ecosystem of the Inner Gulf of Thailand _ an expanse of hundreds of square kilometres of mud and sand flats, scrub covered coastal flats, fish-ponds and salt-pans and a narrow fringe of mangroves.

However, if government plans for a new southern highway link go ahead, the beauty of the Phetchaburi coast, and along with it much of the biodiversity of the upper gulf in the neighbouring provinces of Samut Songkhram and Samut Sakhon, will be lost forever.

The hundreds of square kilometres of mud and sand flats formed from silt washed down from five major rivers, the Bang Pakong in the east, the Chao Phraya, Tha Chin and Mae Klong to the Phetchaburi River in the west, constitute one of the greatest estuaries and waterbird sites in all of Asia. Even the least adventurous among us have glimpsed this wetland area while speeding westwards along the Thonburi-Pak Tho highway where, for a few tens of kilometres between Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram, the road crosses a great expanse of salt-pans.

Here, conical piles of white sea-salt neatly arranged in lines, and windmills used to pump salt water among the ponds, attract the attention of the occasional busload of passing tourists who pause for the obligatory photo-op. Although, as the months and years progress, these wide scenic roadside vistas are gradually being screened behind an ugly roadside ribbon of petrol stations and factories, huge areas of wetland habitat remain, extending from the highway to the coast.

The Upper Gulf of Thailand was recognised by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in 1989 as one of a handful of Thai wetland sites of International Importance.

In spite of this, the Thai cabinet baulked at listing the upper gulf as more than nationally important, and only a small area, Don Hoi Lot, established as a Ramsar site in 2001, was listed as of international importance (see related stories on page 4).

This has everything to do with expediency, with a firm eye on opportunities for industrial development, and places no significance on biodiversity, social or landscape values. Neither the livelihoods of many thousands of inshore fishermen, salt-farmers and others who make their living directly from the gulf, nor the incredible waterfowl concentrations, count in the minds of politicians and their partners in commerce.

The government agencies charged with environmental policy and planning are also too timorous to resist the grandiose plans of engineers, industrialists and bankers, who talk not in terms of millions, but thousands of millions, of baht.

The unplanned piecemeal development is already being allowed to destroy what remains of the rich and unique coastline of the gulf. This destruction is set to continue, and will undoubtedly accelerate, regardless of whether the proposed road bridge is built or not.

To avoid the entire shoreline of the Inner Gulf, southwards to well beyond Phetchaburi, eventually coming to resembling that of the most ugly polluted, congested and industrialised of provinces, Samut Prakan, it will be necessary to develop a comprehensive zoning and environmental protection plan for the gulf.

While allowing for reasonable development onshore, this would safeguard the coastline, and retain the wildlife, landscape and recreational values of the whole.

In order to achieve this goal, the government must first acknowledge the conservation value of the entire gulf, then set about gathering the necessary data that will enable decisions to be made in accordance with its international obligations under the Ramsar Convention on wetlands’ concept of wise use.

Up to now, the people of Bangkok and adjacent cities around the Gulf have acted as if they neither know, nor care, about the rich wetland on their doorstep. Its stewardship has been left to a handful of inshore fishermen and others, who live among, and utilise, its riches and fully realise how acutely their lifestyles are threatened by unrestrained industrialisation and development.

The proposed road-bridge, because it seems such an obvious and expensive anachronism, a sop to the vanity of civil engineers, for whom the idea is first and foremost a grand technological challenge, could change all this.

Opposition to the bridge could lead to the formation of an alliance between coastal residents, and those city dwellers for whom the wetlands and wide-open spaces of the inner gulf provide an area for recreation, birdwatching or merely resting the eyes on a distant horizon.

There is still time to conserve, and sustainably manage the great wetland on Bangkok’s doorstep, but that time is running out.

- Philip D. Round is an eminent ornithologist and field biologist based at Mahidol University, Bangkok. He is the co-author of A Guide to the Birds of Thailand, among other books on wildlife and over 50 scientific papers.

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Bangkok Post July 29, 2004

GULF OF THAILAND BRIDGE

Details inadequate for impact report approval, says geologist

More details sought on alternative routes

Ranjana Wangvipula

Information on possible adverse impacts of the proposed southern sea-bridge is too poor for the environmental impact assessment report (EIA) to be approved, according to a state coastal geologist.

“The data used in the assessment is too rough,” Niran Chaimanee said. “Data for the whole Gulf of Thailand was used to assess the environmental impact on specific areas around the Mae Klong river.”

Mr Niran, who works for the Department of Mineral resources, was speaking in a personal capacity.

The government proposes building a 47km road bridge across a corner of the gulf, from Samut Sakhon to Phetchaburi province, as a shortcut to the South.

Experts scrutinising the project’s EIA, a prerequisite for a construction permit, have rejected it for lacking detail on alternative routes and the threat of erosion to vulnerable coastlines.

The Mae Klong river runs into the gulf just above Laem Phak Bia, a thin cape serving as a landmark for a section of the bridge in Phetchaburi.

The cape and some nearby shores are already seriously eroded because seaside buildings and jetties in lower southern provinces have trapped sand normally taken north by the sea to the cape.

Mr Niran said any construction activity near Laem Phak Bia, which could block more sand, would probably make the situation worse.

He wanted the EIA, which is being revised, to address the issue of coastal erosion in more detail. Any building work would disturb the coastal ecology, he said. A 20-metre wide section of the cape in particular would be put at risk.

The Transport Policy and Planning Division, which oversees the project, said it would include ways to mitigate coastal erosion. “We would certainly not let those problems happen during construction,” said Prasit Rugsayos, director for land transport and traffic analysis.

However, it was difficult to include all specific coastlines in the EIA study as its scope was on a scale relevant to the “project in the gulf,” where the bridge pillars would be placed offshore. Some pillars would be as far as 16km from the Mae Klong estuary.

His division had sent the EIA, which outlines environmental impact mitigation measures, to a panel of experts for approval, he said. The panel, commissioned by the Office of Natural Resources and Environment Policy and Planning, rejected it because it did not give details on alternative routes or give reasons why the gulf bridge was decided on. Panel chairman Prasong Eiam-Anant said: “We told them this was not really an EIA.”

Mr Prasit disagreed, but said he had asked a consultant to look at alternative routes.

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Vietnam

Viet Nam New April 22, 2004

Communes prosper behind Red Cross funded mangrove dykes

HA NOI – The 20,112ha mangrove belt that protects the coastal communes, sea dyke system, is allowing the villagers to increase their income, said head of Viet Nam Red Cross, Social Work Board at a conference in Ha Noi.

“It has reduced the damage caused by storms and floods,” Professor Vo Dinh Vinh said.

It is the result after three years of the US$3.2 million Japanese and Danish Red Cross-funded project at 31 coastal communes across eight provinces.

The six provinces in the north are Quang Ninh, Hai Phong, Thai Binh, Nam Dinh, Ninh Binh and Thanh Hoa, and the two in the centre are Nghe An and Ha Tinh.

The professor said the communes ö the project,s beneficiaries were hit by severe sea storms annually, causing heavy loss of life and property. The State had to spend billions of dong upgrading and repairing river and sea dykes every year.

“Farming productivity in the communes was very low because of the terrible damage caused by the storms and village life can be very difficult,” he said.

The mangrove forests have improved the ecological environment and aided the development of aquaculture in the project,s coastal communes. The villagers have a greater chance to escape poverty ö an urgent task for the communes.

Last year, villagers from project,s communes planted more than 25,000 clumps of bamboo, 121ha of casuarina trees and 1,678ha of mangroves.

At the conference, experts from the Danish and Japanese Red Cross said at most of the project,s communes, the mangroves provided support for the sea dikes, as well as protecting the shrimp breeding areas.

In many areas, the costs for strengthening the dike system and shrimp areas has been greatly reduced, the report from international experts said.

Birds, shrimp and crabs have returned because of the improvement in the coastal environment.

Thai Binh Province,s Red Cross reported that aqua-culture owners did not have to buy young crabs from neighbouring provinces within a year of the mangrove project starting.

A local owner said in October and November ö the season for harvesting crabs, each family made on average about VND3 million, some could make as much as VND15 million each crop.

Farmers in the project,s communes, felt safe to invest in aquaculture. Shrimp breeders save from VND2 to VND2.5 million a year to upgrade their shrimp ponds.

The number of aqua-culture ponds has increased in the past few years in Thai Binh Province,s Tien Hai District and Thanh Hoa Province,s Hoang Hoa District, creating more jobs for local labourers.

Many people can have a regular income of about VND450,000 a month, working as hired labourers for the shrimp pond owners. The money is very necessary for poor families because between crops seasons, large families usually have out of work labourers.

Viet Nam,s Red Cross reports that in the last three years, more than 1,500 poor families in the project,s communes were provided with stable jobs, from planting forest to aquaculture breeding. In addition, the income for thousands of other families has increased with work in aquaculture in the coastal areas.

As part of the project, authorities from Nam Dinh Province,s Hai Hau District have helped poor families, whose houses are in erosion zones, to repair their homes.

Clean water supplies have also been provided in the erosion areas.

However, at the conference, the Viet Nam Red Cross official warned of the poor equipment provided to the protectors of the mangrove forests and a lack of a long-term planning to develop the forest by local authorities in project,s communes.

The conference mapped out this year,s goal for new plantings of mangroves and trees which give protection from the wind and waves in coastal areas, as well as expanding the variety of species in old mangrove forests.

Educating the residents to care for and protect the mangrove forest will be the another major goal for the project,s workers during the year. – VNS

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Viet Nam News May 14, 2004

Illegal salt farming, shrimp breeding threaten Can Gio mangrove reserve

HCM CITY – The 40,000ha Can Gio mangrove reserve on the outskirts of HCM City is under threat from illegal salt farming, shrimp breeding and local communities who rely on the mangroves for food and wood.

“Last year there were 123 violations of reserve regulations ö most were for illegal aquaculture activities,” said Nguyen Van Thanh, deputy head of the forest,s management board.

“These illegal farms caused the destruction of 2.6ha and thousands of the mangroves in the reserve have been cut down.”

As a protected UNESCO biosphere reserve, it is illegal to farm, or take fish or wood from Can Gio. Mangroves are an important ecosystem. They supply important nutrients to coastal fisheries, are feeding grounds for fish and shrimp, and are a natural barrier against storms and erosion.

The forest was all but destroyed during the American war by bombs and the extensive use of defoliants like Agent Orange. A reforestation programme under HCM City authorities and other conservation organisations saw 35,000ha replanted by 1996.

However, largely unmanaged during the 1980s, vast tracts of the Can Gio forest were converted to shrimp ponds and, as the surrounding population grew, more and more mangroves were cut down.

Despite VND100 billion (US$6.7 million) from the HCM City People,s Committee for conservation in Can Gio District, 50km southeast of the city centre, and regular ranger patrols, illegal farming is still a major problem.

“The residents of Ly Nhon Commune on the western outskirts of the reserve are the main culprits,” Thanh said. “They have taken 12ha of forest land for their personal use.”

The Can Gio ranger station recorded 120 breaches of forest regulations by Ly Nhon residents last year. Rangers seized 495kg of endangered reptiles and birds, and 610 mangroves that had been cut down illegally.

Thanh said all the forest land along the 19km road to the commune had been converted into shrimp ponds and salt fields.

Ranger Nguyen Duc Mien said the residents were taking a little more land each day.

“One family had taken 9,600sq.m of mangroves to breed shrimp.”

“It is very difficult to discover the violators because they take such a small amount each day.”

Authorities are also concerned residents from Phu My and Hoi Bai communes from nearby Tan Thanh District, who live on logging the forest next to the Can Gio reserve, will begin taking mangroves once they have exhausted their supply of wood.

To discourage violations, the Can Gio District People,s Committee has increased the penalties for illegal aquaculture in sulmerged forerts and destruction of mangroves. – VNS

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”

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NGOs condemn US shrimp duties on Vietnam

08/08/04

ActionAid International, the Fund for Reconciliation and Development, and the Vietnam Fishery Association today warned that the US Department of Commerce’s (DOC) preliminary dumping duty estimates for Vietnamese shrimp exports to the U.S. will have grave consequences to Vietnamese citizens who raise and market shrimp as well as to the overall national economy if they remain in place.

The groups strongly criticized the DOC duty levels as unjustified, and urged the U.S. government to re-examine its calculations in the final phase of the DOC investigation.

At the end of 2003, a group of domestic US shrimp producers petitioned the U.S. government to tax their competitors and consumers by placing duties on imported shrimp from Vietnam and five other countries. On July 6, the Commerce Department announced preliminary dumping margins on shrimp imports from Vietnam ranging from 12.11 percent to 93.13 percent.

“U.S. duties on shrimp will devastate Vietnam’s economy and the country’s ability to improve the lives of its people,” stated Dr. Ramesh Khadka, Country Director, ActionAid Vietnam. “With the encouragement of the United States, Vietnam’s shrimp industry has been built on free market principles. The shrimp industry is a key component of Vietnam’s economy, responsible for creating approximately 3.5 million jobs directly or indirectly in shrimp and shrimp related businesses. In addition, revenues from shrimp exports rank third among all the country’s exports, trailing only crude oil and garments.”

“Vietnam’s shrimp industry is doing nothing illegal,” said Dr. Khadka.

“The country has a competitive advantage over US shrimpers because it uses modern aquaculture technology and benefits from favourable natural conditions and low labour costs in farming shrimp. Vietnam produces a quality product that is in great demand in the United States. Moreover, growth industries like shrimp farming are absolutely vital to raising the overall level of economic development in Vietnam and other developing countries. Protectionist tariffs prevent countries like Vietnam from moving forward.”

“A recent survey conducted by ActionAid showed that shrimp farming accounts for 50 percent of GDP in some provinces,” Dr. Khadka continued.

“More than 44 percent of peasant households in these regions derive their income from shrimp farming. Shrimp farmers obtain credit from banks by mortgaging assets and acquiring credit at standard interest rates. The industry receives no special treatment from the Vietnamese government. These duties will throw many Vietnamese, who have poured virtually all their assets into shrimping in the desire to improve their lives, back into poverty.”

“Our survey also revealed that shrimp industry wages are generally higher than overall income levels in Vietnam and salaries at shrimp processing factories are significantly higher still,” said Dr. Khadka. “Shrimp farmers and processors earn a decent wage in Vietnamese terms that allows them to support their families.”

“If these dumping duties remain, millions of Vietnamese will suffer,” he continued. “Forty-five percent of shrimp exports go to the U.S., making it Vietnam’s largest market. ActionAid along with other humanitarian and international donor organizations has been working to better the lives of the Vietnamese people through fair market initiatives. Shrimp farming is more profitable and less physically rigorous than cultivating rice, which generates only one-third or less the income of shrimp for Vietnamese.”

In 2003, the U.S. imposed dumping duties on Vietnamese catfish. The shrimp trade petition constitutes a far greater threat to Vietnam’s economy; shrimp exports are worth approximately $500 million compared to the $10 million value of catfish exports, and the shrimp industry employs more than eight times as many workers as the approximately 400.000 people working in the catfish industry.”

According to Andrew Wells-Dang, regional representative of the Fund for Reconciliation and Development, the so-called “non-market” economy provisions of the US dumping laws resulted in Vietnam and China receiving different treatment than the other four countries in the shrimp case. “This treatment is evidence of the contradictions in U.S. trade policy. The United States and Vietnam have signed a bilateral trade agreement designed to encourage Vietnamese private sector development and exports, and yet the US duty determinations ignore real Vietnamese market conditions, resorting to numbers based on shrimp production in some unrelated ‘surrogate’ country.”

“ActionAid calls on the United States government to ensure a fair investigation of Vietnam’s shrimp industry,” concluded Dr. Khadka. “Based on our first hand observations, we are confident that, if a fair investigation is conducted, no dumping duties will be placed on Vietnam’s shrimp exports.”

ActionAid International is an international non-governmental organization working in 35 countries in the World. It started working in Vietnam in 1989 in the field of hunger eradication and poverty reduction. ActionAid International Vietnam contact: Dr Ramesh Khadka, rameshk@actionaidvietnam.org.

The Fund for Reconciliation and Development is an independent American non-profit organization that has worked for normal economic, diplomatic and culturalrelations between the US and Indochina since 1985. The Fund for Reconciliation and Development contact: Andrew Wells-Dang, andrew@ffrd.org.

Source or related URL: www.prnewswire.com

From: “Elaine Corets”

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August 2, 2004

Ministry takes $320m action on aquaculture

HA NOI – In response to the decline in aquatic products and resources, the Ministry of Fisheries will invest VND5 trillion (US$320 million) to restore and replenish sea, brackish and fresh water livestock.

Deputy Minister of Fisheries Nguyen Viet Thang said VND1.8 trillion will come from the State budget, and the remainder from other economic sectors, including foreign investors.

Under the programme, between now and 2010, the fisheries industry will produce 35 billion baby tiger shrimps, more than 500 million baby crustaceans, 11 billion baby molluscs, 400 million high-value sea fries, and 6,000 tonnes of abalone, algae and sea weed.

The industry will also supply more than 3.5 billion baby green-clawed prawns (mecrobrachium roserbergii), 700 million baby catfish, more than 500 million baby tilapia, and more than 12 billion brackish and fresh water fries to fish rearing farms in different parts of the country.

The money will also be used to upgrade and expand the national and regional water livestock nurseries, especially those in poor coastal and mountainous areas.

In addition, the programme will help nurseries improve their production capacities. The first priorities will be to develop high-yield local stocks, create hybridised fish and shrimp stocks suitable for local climates and resistant to animal diseases, and ensure a stable supply of produce for local farmers.

Nurseries will be equipped with advanced facilities to produce high quality feed, such as larva and artemia, for new-born fish and shrimp. The products will have to meet international quarantine and health standards.

The programme will also grant short and medium-term soft loans for fish and shrimp breeders.

Viet Nam boasts 4,800 centres that produce baby tiger shrimp, and it has another 400 fries nurseries. In the first half of this year, the centres turned out 12 billion baby shrimp and 6 billion fries, as well as 2 billion baby catfish, to meet the growing aquaculture demands in the Cuu Long (Mekong) and Hong (Red) River delta regions, coastal provinces, and other parts of the country.

In addition to the seafood consumed by foreign customers, such as catfish, abalone, giant prawns and tiger shrimp, the fisheries industry will also focus on exotic, high quality breeds, such as pollack tench, black pike, mud carp, giant goby and tilapia.

Crustaceans and molluscs, such as squid, lobsters, snails, fluget giant snails, clams, mussels, oysters, and sea crabs, also bring in a considerable export revenue.

The deputy minister said further investment should focus on zoning areas for livestock nurseries and providing breeders with timely information on relevant technology, as well as domestic and international markets.

“Aquaculture must coincide with efforts to protect natural seafood resources for sustainable development,” Thang said.

To this end, the Government issued directives and regulations for fishing fleets and fishermen. Tight bans were placed on the use of electronic fishing tools, explosives and seine nets in coastal areas and along rivers.

Fishermen are encouraged to act responsibly in their harvest of sea stocks; to develop off-shore fishing fleets; and to avoid netting fish and shrimp during their spawning stages.

Vietnam News Service

From: “Elaine Corets”

———-

Indonesia

Indonesia raises new worries for shrimpers

09/08/2004

By Russ Henderson

Shrimpers here talked as if they had fatally wounded the beast of foreign imports when they recently won trade sanctions against China and Vietnam. But now they’re worried a new shrimp-farming powerhouse might be raising its head.

Indonesia is speeding up development of its shrimp farming businesses this year to take advantage of an opportunity to undercut the world’s top six shrimp exporters, which face potential tariffs from the United States.

“I don’t like the sound of that. We should’ve gone after Indonesia, too. But we didn’t have the money to do that,” said Cyndi Johnson, a seafood retailer and wife of Bayou La Batre shrimper Doug Johnson. She said imported shrimp is like the nine-headed hydra killed after a long battle with Hercules, a hero of Greek mythology. During the fight, every time Hercules cut off one head, another grew back in its place.

The U.S. Commerce Department last month announced preliminary tariffs on shrimp imported from Brazil, India, Ecuador and Thailand, China and Vietnam. Duties on the four capitalist countries were lower than expected by the U.S. shrimpers, who in December filed a federal lawsuit seeking the tariffs. But Vietnam and China — two of the world’s three biggest suppliers — still face hefty tariffs from 90 percent to 113 percent.

The European Union, meanwhile, enacted its own tariffs of 12 percent to 20 percent on Thai shrimp earlier this summer.

Tariff critics say the measures won’t likely help domestic shrimpers by driving shrimp prices up. The market will adapt, and global shrimp farm players like Indonesia — already one of the world’s top shrimp exporters, but not a target of the U.S. tariff lawsuit — will take over any market lost by the tariff-strapped countries.

Shrimpers, meanwhile, insist that prices will go up. The Southern Shrimp Alliance, an eight-state coalition of shrimp fishermen and seafood processors, filed the tariff lawsuit in December.

“That lawsuit will put tariffs on countries that produce 75 percent of the shrimp imported by U.S. companies,” said Ernie Anderson, a Bayou La Batre seafood dock manager and president of the Organized Seafood Association of Alabama. “The tariffs may be smaller than we’d like, but Indonesia and the other countries can’t take up all that market.”

That may turn out to be true, but the desire for profit is driving companies all over the world to find a way to take advantage of the situation, said Ron Boren, international trade manager for Ocean Garden Products, a San Diego-based seafood company that owns shrimp farms in northern Mexico.

“A lot of outside industries are now getting into the shrimp market, investing in established nations like Venezuela and elsewhere,” Boren said.

Small but growing shrimp farm powerhouses like Belize are also seeking new international investment, he said. Bangladesh seafood marketers recently sent out e-mails advertising their country’s “Zero Percent Duty” shrimp.

“Then of course there’s Indonesia. They’re very smart,” Boren said.

Since January, Indonesia has sold the U.S. nearly as much shrimp as it did the entire year in 2003, according to federal statistics. Last year, Indonesia’s shrimp farmers grew 336 million pounds of shrimp, two-thirds more than the year before, said Iman Pambagyo, commercial attachÚ for the Indonesian Embassy in Washington.

This year, production could reach 452 million pounds, said Johanes Kitono, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Fish Producers Association. About 60 million pounds will be exported, most of that to the United States, he said.

It’s possible that Indonesia may go from being the United States’ seventh-biggest supplier “to being one of our top three or even the very top shrimp supplier inside just a few years,” said Bob Rosenberry, publisher of the seafood industry magazine Shrimp News, based in San Diego.

Since federal officials announced the preliminary tariffs last month, black tiger shrimp prices have risen 10 cents to 30 cents, Rosenberry said. Black tigers, a shrimp only grown in foreign ponds, represent about a third of the import market, he said. The rest are white shrimp, and their prices have been steady, he said.

“These tariffs may just change the country’s name you see printed on the back of boxes of imported shrimp for a while,” Rosenberry said.

All the countries facing potential tariffs plan to contest the Commerce Department’s decision. The commerce officials expect to announce a final determination in January, when actual tariffs would be assigned.

Anderson said that, if Indonesia’s imports rise substantially, “our lawyers might look at them, and we could file against them, too, in the future. Adding acountry on would be a lot less work because we’ve laid the ground work now.”

Source or related URL: www.al.com

From: “Elaine Corets” manglar@comcast.net

———-

Note from Paula Palmer of Global Response: If you haven,t yet written a letter to the CEO of Newmont and to the Indonesian government, please see WEBSITE. A model letter will help you express your support for the people of the mine-affected communities. Let,s demand that Newmont stop the irresponsible practice of “submarine tailings disposal (ocean dumping) before it can cause more damage to the marine environment and human health.

Newmont Gold Mine Investigated for Polluting Indonesian Waters

JAKARTA, Indonesia, August 17, 2004 (ENS) – Newmont Indonesia, a subsidiary of the world’s largest gold producer, Denver-based Newmont Mining CCorporation, is in trouble with Indonesian authorities over underwater disposal of mine tailings in Buyat Bay on the island of North Sulawesi.

Police are moving to question top executives at Newmont Indonesia after tests of water and sediment at the police forensic laboratory confirmed scientific studies showing heavy metal pollution from ocean dumping of waste from the Newmont Minahasa Raya gold mine, which is now closed.

“Indonesia has been gripped by news of an epidemic of health problems ranging from skin ailments, lumps and nervous system complaints suffered by dozens of Buyat Bay residents,” conservation groups Friends of the Earth International, WALHI and the Mineral Policy Institute said on Saturday.

Minahasa mine with Buyat Bay in the distance. These engineers are planning the mine’s closure. (Photo courtesy Newmont Mining Corporation)

Since 1996, Newmont Indonesia has been dumping 2,000 tons of mine waste containing heavy metals such as mercury into the bay daily in a process known as submarine tailings disposal.

The first people to be questioned will be Newmont Indonesia’s director and staff, who are expected to provide details of the company’s disposal system, National Police environmental expert and pollution investigator Commander Sulistyo Indriatmoko told the “Jakarta Post” on Sunday.

“They will have to explain what kind of chemicals they use in the mining process, and what chemicals they dispose of to the bay. We shall then compare their answers with our laboratory test results,” Sulistyo said.

He said all samples tested had metal content higher than the 0.001 milligram/liter sea water pollution standard for mercury, cadmium and copper set by the Office of the State Minister of the Environment.

Next, police intend to test samples of blood, hair and the nails of Buyat residents, 22 of whom have travelled to Jakarta for the tests.

Police could halt operations at Minahasa and charge the company with violating Indonesian environmental law.

Minahasa is an open pit gold mine located 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the city of Manado in the province of North Sulawesi. Mining ceased in October 2001, the company says, due to the depletion of the gold deposit and the mine is now in a phase of closure.

Still, mineral processing from stockpiles continued throughout 2003. A total 718,825 metric tons of tailings were deposited in Buyat Bay in 2002, the company states.

The company says its tailings are safe. In a 2002 document on the Newmont website, “Minhasa Now and Beyond 2002,” the company explains that Minahasa disposes of its tailings – the finely crushed rock that remains after the gold has been removed – using submarine tailings placement (STP)….

…The Extractive Industries Review is online at: www.eireview.org/

From: Global Response

———-

S. ASIA

India

US anti-dumping duty hits Andhra shrimp farmers

7/08/2004 23:30:12

The heavy anti-dumping duty imposed by the United States on Indian shrimp exports has hit fishermen and shrimp farmers in Andhra Pradesh, forcing several to resort to distress sale of prawns.

Last month the US imposed 3.56 percent to 27.49 percent duty on shrimp imports from India on the ground that the shrimp industry was subsidised by the government. It imposed a similar duty on six other countries.

Alarmed over the development, several aqua farmers have already quit shrimp farming while others have slashed prices drastically.

This has compounded the problem of the farmers who were plagued by three successive years of drought, falling prices and diseases.

The US is India’s second-largest shrimp buyer after Japan. Nearly a quarter of the Indian shrimp exporters’ $1 billion annual earnings come from American imports.

In its preliminary ruling on July 30 the US Commerce Department had said that shrimps and prawns imported from these countries were being sold at artificially low prices, hurting US producers. As the US agency prepares to make a final decision in a few months and set new tariffs, an official team is visiting India to scrutinize the books of seafood exporters.

The team also visited Visakhapatnam. The US team is gathering statistics of procurement, processing and production of various Indian shrimp exporters.

However, the authorities in Hyderabad had no details of the US team’s visit and their talks with exporters.

Meanwhile, state Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging the central government to intervene in the matter with the US.

In his letter, he said that about 100,000 small and marginal farmers are engaged in aquaculture in about 55,000 hectares. He also pointed out that 724,000 fishermen also depend on shrimp farming.

The Andhra Pradesh Aqua Farmers Association president Duvvuri Radhakrishna Reddy has urged the state and central government to take urgent measures to help the farmers.

He said the US measure would badly affect the sector which earns a foreign exchange revenue of more than Rs.30 billion per annum.

“We already suffered huge losses and the latest decision by the US might force us to give up aqua farming,” said Srinivas Rao, a farmer in Nellore district in this southern state.

The decision would adversely affect the livelihood of more than 800,000 families in the state.

The Aqua farmers president, Radhakrishna Reddy, said that the area under cultivation for Black Tiger Prawns has come down to 150,000 hectares from 200,000 hectares in the State due to the present crisis.

In Nellore district, the prawn cultivation area has come down to 20,000 hectares for Black Tiger Prawn.

The farmers, who used to get Rs 340 per kg of 40 count Tiger Prawn till some time ago are selling the produce at Rs 220 to Rs 240 per kg now.

The farmers association feels that that Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) was also ignoring their welfare.

The association wants the government to increase storage facilities in the state and ensure that the farmers get remunerative prices.

The association also wants that the government should set up labs to protect and maintain the quality of the aqua products.

Source: Indo-Asian News Service: www.keralanext.com

From: “Elaine Corets”

———-

Bangladesh

Shrimp export earnings may quadruple by 2008
Exporters hope to earn Tk 10,000cr annually

THE DAILY STAR

Frozen foods exporters have taken an initiative targeting to earn Tk 10,000 crore annually by the year 2008 through increasing shrimp production, optimum utilisation of the processing capacity and exploring new markets.

To achieve the objective, Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA) has prepared a concept paper titled “Vision-2008″ and submitted it to the government for taking necessary steps.

The exporters said the country earned about 380 million US dollar in last fiscal year (2003-2004) which was 10 million dollar higher than the target.

The association has fixed the export target at 410 million dollar (about Tk 2,500 crore) for the current fiscal year.

Shrimp constitutes the major portion of the frozen foods exported from Bangladesh.

BFFEA sources said the government has already directed the Ministry of Commerce to give special attention to the sector and extend necessary help to the frozen foods exporters to achieve their objective.

Following the directives of the prime minister, the ministry has included an agenda about Vision-2008 in the National Export Committee and opened up a special desk at Export Promotion Bureau.

BFFEA sources said they have taken up an action plan to achieve the target producing around 2.5 lakh metric tons of raw shrimp from 2.30 lakh hectares by introducing modern and eco-friendly pisciculture technology.

The shrimp production target is expected to be achieved following methods adopted by Thailand, sources said and added the Thai per acre yield is many times higher than that of Bangladesh.

Sources said that the European Commission (EC) assured them (BFFEA) of assisting the association with all supports to make their objective a success. BFFEA had earlier requested EC to extend support.

The vision stresses upgradation of existing lab facilities, training of technicians, introduction of an internationally accepted certification and establishment of a reference laboratory to test and certify the product quality, sources said adding that the country’s 50 hatcheries produce about 500 crore shrimp larvae which are enough to meet the target of production by 2008.

In the last fiscal year BFFEA exported frozen foods to USA, Russia, Denmark, Germany, United Kingdom, Belgium, Switzerland, China, Thailand and Malaysia. The association is determined to explore new markets in the world for frozen food exports.

From: zakir kibria

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E. ASIA

China

Bangkok Post Aug.13, 2004

China plans more work on Mekong

Sand bars ‘hold back’ ships on 80km stretch

PIYAPORN WONGRUANG

China will deepen a section of the upper Mekong river that stretches from Jing Hong to Guan Laei in Xishuangbanna in Yunnan province to ease the way for freight ships, said a transport official.

The 80km river section was dominated by shallow sand bars that obstructed cargo ships, said Ma Hui Ming, chief of the Jing Hong office’s China Marine Safety Administration.

The sand bars would be removed so cargo ships of up to 400 tonnes could navigate year-round.

In 2000, China signed a navigation agreement with Burma, Laos, and Thailand, to let 100-tonne cargo ships navigate the 800km section from Simao port upstream of Jing Hong port to Luang Prabang in Laos year-round.

The countries have removed 21 rapids and shoals in the first phase.

However, large cargo ships are still unable to pass through the Jing Hong-Guan Laei river section due to shallow water and sand bars.

A Chinese official at Jing Hong port said cargo ships loaded their cargo at Guan Laei port during the dry season.

Mr Ma said the project would be finished in two years and cost 100 million yuan (B500m), nearly 1.5 times more than that spent removing the rapids and shoals.

Mr Ma spoke after meeting Thai transport and port officials who paid a visit to Jing Hong recently.

He said the project was in China’s territory and there was no need to consult other countries on the river.

Sub-Lt Preecha Phetwong, director of the marine safety and environmental bureau and secretary of the Joint Committee on Coordination of Commercial Navigation on the Lancang-Mekong River, said China started work on the river about the same time the agreement was signed, but didn’t tell anyone.

Thailand has asked China to maintain water levels in the river after they fell to new depths last dry season.

The government suspects Chinese dams on the upper Mekong took the water.

OCEANIA
Australia
WWF Threatens Australian Old-Growth Forests

PRESS RELEASE
by Forests.org, Inc.
Monday, August 09, 2004

WWF Australia has released a policy document advocating the logging of vast areas of old-growth forest in Tasmania, Australia. The document, entitled “A Blueprint for the Forest Industry and Vegetation Management in Tasmania”, has rightly outraged local conservation organizations working for the past 25 years to stop logging in Tasmania’s old-growth forests.

A broad global consensus has emerged within the grassroots forest conservation community that industrial logging of old-growth, and other endangered forests, is no longer acceptable.

As Dr. Glen Barry of Forests.org explains, “ancient forests are required to maintain local as well as global ecological sustainability. Industrial development of Tasmanian and other endangered forests irrevocably diminishes them, whether management is certified or not. To protect the Earth and all her life, the world’s remaining old-growth must be protected from commercial scale development.”

WWF’s support for industrial logging against the wishes of heavily invested local conservationists is the most recent instance of large environmental organizations obstructing grassroots efforts to end industrial logging of ancient old-growth and other endangered forests.
All too frequently corporate environmental organizations benefit financially from their endorsement of ancient forest logging as being supposedly environmentally friendly.

The Australia Institute recently reported that WWF Australia has received vast sums of money from the Australian Federal Government ($13.5 million between 1999 and 2003). It has also supported the majority of the Federal Government’s environment policies – including commercial logging of Tasmania’s ancient forests – while its name and statements have been used by the Government to promote its environmental credentials.

If adopted by Australia’s government, WWF’s proposals would undermine the twenty five years’ campaign to protect Tasmania’s old growth forests and biodiversity; continue undesirable and unpopular practices such as clearfelling of native forests; destroy wilderness areas of World Heritage value in western Tasmania; and exacerbate current divisions in Tasmania regarding the future of forests, the development of forest-consuming industrial complexes, and the proposed expansion of plantations.

Twenty-five years of grassroots campaigning have won great victories in the campaign to save what remains of Australia’s precious old-growth forests. Public opinion is behind the movement and political parties are on the verge of making the leap to true conservation policies – based upon strict protection and an end to old-growth logging – for Tasmania,s precious ancient forests.

WWF’s recently published ‘blueprint’ threatens to stall this progress. Forest.org supports Tasmanian conservation organizations in their demand that WWF remove the document from circulation and the debate, or else withdraw from the Tasmanian forest campaign altogether.

As Dr. Barry concludes, “greenwashing of old-growth forest destruction by corporate environmental pologists will not stand. The mega-environmental conglomerates will heed this message of lose their members.”

# # #

A copy of WWF Australia’s report is available on their website at
www.wwf.org.au/

A copy of the Australia Insitute,s report is available at:
ww.tai.org.au/ (see ‘What’s New’)

A copy of Tasmanian NGO’s letter to WWF can be found HERE 

For more information including interviews contact:
Dr. Glen Barry
gbarry@forests.org

From: “Forests.org”

LATIN AMERICA
Ecuador

Eucalyptus monocultures in the southwest of Esmeraldas

Canton Muisne Ü Ecuador

Large-scale monocultures

Large forestry plantations, and especially monocultures, do not fulfill biological, social nor environmental functions of a forest. In homogeneous systems such as these the biodiversity is found to be considerably reduced.

In a true forest we find a great variety of plants and animals alongside which human populations subsist on their resources. There exist many populations that use medicinal plants of the understory; in the plantations these resources disappear.

Large-scale monocultures generally displace entire populations, such as has occurred with some precincts in the southwest of the province of Esmeraldas (Matambal, El Carmen, etc.).

One of the principle functions of the forest is the regulation of the water cycle by evapotranspiration, maintaining the precipitation levels that feed rivers and estuaries. In large plantations or deforested zones the hydrological balances are negative, modifying the climate.

In forest soils, microorganisms are much more abundant and their function of decomposition is greater. Relative to a forest, the supply of soil nutrients and micronutrients, and the availability of nitrogen, is less in a plantation, due to the decrease or absence of these organisms.

The use of fertilizers in high-density monoculture regimes causes disequilibrium in soil nutrients, such as, for example, deficiencies of boron and manganese (NCSU, estudio Regionwide 18. Plantaciones de eucaliptus grandis en Colombia).

The use of pesticides to control fungi, insects, weeds, etc. severely affects not only the health of the populations living adjacent to plantations but also the flora, fauna and water courses.

Plantations definitely are NOT forests:

(information from WRM Ü World Rainforest Movement).

The Soil

Soils are extremely heterogeneous, but almost all of fluvial origin, that is, originating from sediments carried from the Andes through millions of years, undergo transformation processes. They are generally clay, covered with a thin layer of humus, facilitating growth of plants and superficial extension of their roots.

In areas that have become ñeffectedî by monocultures, the soil is dense and, as a consequence, water is delayed in its downward passage to deeper layers. The process of groundwater accumulation is lengthy and slow, taking thousands of years to form and hundreds more to fill. During this period forests develop, which are inhabited by the enormous biodiversity that this zone flaunts. Herbs, shrubs, young and mature trees, birds, reptiles, insects, etc. live in these lands that are very productive and maintain high levels of humidity, through which are maintained stable climatic and hydrological conditions.

Soil factors and climatic characteristics influence the availability of nutrients and water. In conjunction with the organic soil layer, they decompose and liberate various nutrients, among them K, Mg, B, Mn. As a consequence, climatic, genetic, and soil differences have different effects on the increase and distribution of carbon, and this, in great quantities, has well known ill-fated global effects (e.g. greenhouse effect).

Eucalyptus

Briefly we can say that Eucalyptus grandis and Eucalyptus urograndis (hybrid) are exotic species, genetically modified to improve characteristics related to productivity, tree form and phytosanity, in addition to obtain low levels of growth stress in short-term plantings (reaching 12 meters in 3 years) in order to be utilized in the manufacture of cellulose, chips, paper, and charcoal.

In their growth and development process these varieties extend their roots until reaching the water table; when they reach it they absorb, in a short period of time, all of the water that took hundreds of years to accumulate. This is how these species devastate the lands in which they are planted. The management of the plantations also impoverishes the soils because they donÍt take advantage of coppicing. Rows are planted leaving spaces between each tree; when reaching its optimal growth, it is cut down and new plantings are made in the empty spaces that were left originally. Only two harvests are made.

This is how, in a short time period, biodiversity is notably reduced, owing to the monoculture and the constant human intervention in logging and management; soils deteriorate until they become barren.

Eucapacific

In the province of Esmeraldas, Muisne canton, there exist enormous plantations of eucalyptus that have been created, in many cases, following the logging of native forests, despite the established law ñSpecial Protection Regime of Biodiversity of the Muisne Canton Watershed, Mangrove and Tropical Rainforest Ecosystem.î The plantation, development, and exploitation of monocultures that are harmful to the environment are prohibited in this watershed. These plantations belong to the transnational Eucaliptos Pacifico S.A., which has, since October 2003, a ministerial permit to develop its project of plantations.

The Japanese company Eucapacific (Eucaliptus Pac’fico S.A.) maintains a discourse of environmental commitment and reforestation; nevertheless the reality demonstrates that its actions are far from protecting forests. There is no basis for comparison of the planting, or not logging, of some hectares of native forest vs. the almost 11 thousand hectares that have already been planted in eucalyptus, and in no way minimizes the high environmental and social impact of its activities.

According to studies of EUCAPACIFIC, 40% of production costs are from application of herbicides, fungicides, pesticides and fertilizers that are highly toxic and that end up in water runoff transported by the rain, and in the groundwater. The worst is that the watersheds of Bunche and Matambal Rivers Ü which in a new project will supply the drinking water for Muisne and nearby communities Ü are within the area of plantations and the water course will become gravely diminished and contaminated.

In addition, they are causing a large socio-economic impact by buying small and medium-size farms for their plantings. The owners of the farms, the majority of whom are people with low education levels, immigrate to the cities where they quickly spend the money received and turn into a burden for the local governments, unemployed and incapable of obtaining stable work; the phenomenon of depopulation of the zone, complete disappearance of precincts, etc.

For Eucapacific, the chips business is very profitable, since in Ecuador costs for labor and land are very low. Taxation in the export zone of the province of Esmeraldas and environmental regulations are so permissive resulting in this zone being the most favored for its investments. In addition, its plantations are considered ñreforestationsî which satisfy the legal demands of its country concerning emissions of carbon dioxide, avoiding possible fines.

The constant complaints lodged by the population and environmental organizations call for the issue of a prohibition of indiscriminate felling of native forests. This confirms that the population should be at attention and alert to the pillaging that is happening in their territory.

From: Joseph Torres joseph@fcsf.org

NORTH AMERICA
USA
Shrimp Task Force Report Heats Up Controversy in US

Shrimp Task Force Welcomes U.S. Government Analysis That Domestic Shrimp Industry Must Downsize and Restructure to Survive

WASHINGTON, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ — The Shrimp Task Force today welcomed the long-anticipated release of a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) paper on Shrimp Industry Issues and Options. The report, written at the request of U.S. shrimpers, offers an assessment of the domestic shrimp industry that makes clear that to regain economic health, the U.S. shrimping industry needs drastic restructuring, not trade protection or massive subsidies.

The government report, incorporating data and economic modeling based on years of research into domestic industry practices and conditions, offers a number of solutions to industry problems. Foremost among the NMFS proposals are reducing the size of the domestic shrimp fleet, reorganizing shrimpers into cooperatives, and improving product differentiation from imported shrimp, with which the domestic industry has so far failed to compete effectively.

“We are glad these proposals are finally public, and we hope the industry takes to heart the report that they themselves requested,” said Wally Stevens, Chairman of the Shrimp Task Force. “The NMFS report confirms that domestic shrimpers need to stop pointing fingers and begin working constructively to help themselves. They have serious long-term problems that need to be faced directly, including high costs, poor product marketing, and sheer overcapacity — too many boats chasing too few shrimp.”

Thanks largely to high quality, reasonably priced imports, shrimp has become America’s most popular seafood, with imports accounting for nearly 90 percent of all shrimp consumed in the U.S. Yet despite the enormous popularity of shrimp among American consumers, the report makes it clear that inefficiencies inherent in the domestic industry have prevented shrimpers from benefiting from the increased demand, leading them instead to seek trade protection and government subsidies in an effort to paper over their problems.

“The domestic industry has received a laundry list of government handouts to date that have gotten them nowhere,” Stevens explained. “Last year, the federal government handed out $35 million to domestic shrimpers in the form of ‘disaster assistance,’ some of which was then utilized to fund their antidumping petition. Earlier this year, the government of Louisiana authorized $350,000 in federal funds to help foot the legal bill for this case, and just last week, Louisiana officials openly urged shrimpers to apply for federal handouts in the form of Byrd money.”

Stevens added: “Even Mexico has reportedly funneled money to U.S. shrimpers. According to the press, the Southern Shrimp Alliance received roughly $1.3 million from the Mexican shrimp industry to support the legal costs of the dumping petition in exchange for leaving Mexico off the list of respondents in the case. All this for a group that likes to allege that its foreign competitors are the ones relying on subsidies.”

“We are concerned that under blatant domestic industry and political pressure, the NMFS has tried to put the best face it can on U.S. shrimpers’ problems. The report cites 70,000 shrimp producing jobs in the U.S. This number is twenty years old, and grossly overstates U.S. industry employment. According to a brand new report by the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, the four largest shrimp producing states employ a total of less than 10,000 workers. In 2001, one major shrimp producing state, Texas, counted just 2,183 jobs in processors and wholesalers of all fish products,” said Stevens. “These current jobs numbers are consistent with the Shrimp Task Force’s estimates of 20 shrimp consuming jobs for every one shrimp producing job.”

“It’s easy to see why the Southern Shrimp Alliance issued a press release attacking the NMFS report before it even became public. The U.S. Government itself has concluded that there is no justification for demands by U.S. shrimpers for more subsidies or trade protection, and that closing the market to imports will not make the industry’s problems go away. We are only surprised that on July 26, NMFS granted SSA almost $4 million to market wild caught shrimp. We question giving further subsidies to a group that rejects the whole idea of addressing its own problems and literally bites the hand that feeds it,” Stevens concluded.

The DOC recently announced preliminary margins on imported shrimp from Brazil ranging from zero percent to 67.8 percent, from Ecuador ranging from 6.08 percent to 9.35 percent, from India ranging from 3.56 percent to 27.49 percent and from Thailand ranging from 5.56 percent to 10.25 percent. Earlier, the DOC announced preliminary margins on shrimp imports from China ranging from 0.04 percent to 112.81 percent, and from Vietnam ranging from 12.11 percent to 93.13 percent.

Due to the threat that duties pose to both consumers and to the consuming industries that serve them, the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition (CITAC) has formed an alliance with the American Seafood Distributors Association (ASDA), bringing together concerned grocers, restaurants, processors, distributors, business councils, and U.S. exporters to form the CITAC/ASDA Shrimp Task Force. The goal of the Shrimp Task Force is to assure that the U.S. government considers all the facts, applies the law, and exercises its discretion in the case fairly and objectively, with a full understanding of the national ramifications of any decision.

For more information on the Shrimp Task Force visit www.citac.info/shrimp

SOURCE CITAC/ASDA Shrimp Task Force

www.prnewswire.com

From: LESrrl3@aol.com

ANNOUNCEMENTS
ICSF launches website on women in fisheries

The International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF) has launched a website on issues relating to women and gender in fisheries.

The site can be accessed at WWW.wif.icsf.net

In most fishing communities, women play a key role in fisheries and in maintaining households and communities. Yet, they remain largely invisible, and their roles, unacknowledged. The ICSF website attempts to restore the balance. It turns the spotlight on women’s roles and gender relations in fisheries: What developments have negative effects on women of fishing communities? What initiatives have communities and policymakers taken to ensure a sustainable, equitable and gender-just form of fisheries development? These and other issues are discussed on the site.

The launch of the site coincides with the Asian Regional Consultation on Women in Fisheries being held between 11 and 14 August in Medan, Indonesia. The consultation is coordinated by the Thailand-based Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD), Solidaritas Perempuan (Indonesia), ICSF, NGO COD (Thailand), BAYAN-PAMALYAKAYA (Philippines) and Solidaritas Perempuan Deli Serdang.
.
ICSF is an international NGO working on issues of relevance to small-scale and artisanal fisheries and fishworkers worldwide, with a special focus on livelihoods concerns. The ICSF website ( www.icsf.net ) has archives of news items as well as all issues of SAMUDRA Report and several other documents and resources of interest to fisheries researchers, students and fishers’ organizations.

From: “Elaine Corets” manglar@comcast.net

———-

GLOMIS Database On Mangroves

The GLOMIS database at www.glomis.com/ contains many answers to common
queries about mangroves and mangrove research – please refer to this resource

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS
New Popular Children’s Book On Mangroves

The Sea, the Storm and the Mangrove Tangle is author/Illustrator Lynne Cherry’s most recent book. Lynne is the author of A River Ran Wild, the rainforest classic The Great Kapok Tree and 30 other books which are widely used in schools to teach children about biomes (different ecosystems) and to teach them that they can help to protect the earth’s natural places.

Lynne would like to get the word out about her book to groups that are interested in helping to save the mangroves. She is also interested in seeing her book used to teach children about these essential ecosystems.

If you would like to share names of any people or organizations that share this concern, please e-mail Lynne at ecoauthor@earthlink.net. Or you can request a review copy of the book from Farrar Strauss Giroux publishers.

———-

The Handbook of Philippine Mangroves -

Panay (2004) by
J.H. Primavera, R.B. Sadaba, M.J.H. Lebata and J.P. Altamirano is:

- a field guide for local communities, NGOs, students, teachers and researchers to identify 35 species of Philippine mangroves based on plant morphology (shape, color, texture, size), and biology and ecology
(substrate, intertidal level, reproductive season) – covers 106 pages with numerous full color photos, has a laminated cover and handy size ideal for field use – chapters on Importance of Mangroves, Decline and Legislation, Conservation, Mangrove-Friendly Aquaculture, Rehabilitation

For orders, please contact:
SALES AND CIRCULATION
SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department
Tigbauan, Iloilo 5021
Philippines
Tel (6333) 511-9172
Fax (6333) 511-8709
Email sales@aqd.safdec.org.ph

———-

Asian Wetland Symposium 2005, February 2005, India.

We are pleased to inform you that “The Asian Wetland Symposium 2005:
Innovative Approaches to Sustainable Livelihood” will be held on 6-9 February 2005 in Bhubaneswar and Chilika Lake, India, jointly organized by Ramsar Center Japan, Chilika Development Authority, the Department of Forest and Environment, the Government of Orissa and the Ministry of Forest and Environment, India. The Symposium will be the third opportunity of the regional wetland symposium which aims to synergize cooperation among all stakeholders to achieve the wise use of wetlands in Asia and the Pacific. The organizers call on every academician, wetland manager, government official, university student, NGO, community leader, media person and nature lover who is concerned with the conservation of wetlands to come and join the forum. Further information and on-line registration are now available from the Web site
www.aws2005.com. We are looking forward to your positive participation.

- Reiko Nakamura (reiko.nakamura@nifty.com), Secretary-General, Ramsar
Center Japan.

From: Dwight Peck
CALL FOR PAPERS
Coastal Zone Conference

Coastal Zone is the premier conference for the world’s coastal resource managers. The 14th installment of the biennial conference series focuses on balancing the issues and interests of land and sea. With over 1,000 participants expected from all over the world, this conference promises to provide valuable tools, lessons learned, and new ideas to help address the coastal management issues we’re all facing. The conference is scheduled for July 17-21 2005 in New Orleans, LA.

The Call for Abstracts for Coastal Zone 05 is now available off the Web
site: www.csc.noaa.gov/cz

Abstracts are due Oct. 4, 2004.
Mike Spranger
www.flseagrant.org

AQUACULTURE CORNER
Grains for fish feed
13/08/2004
By Sally White

Grain could have a growing role in feeding an aquaculture industry worth US$60 billion globally.

Aquaculture is the fastest growing food producing industry in the world.

Since 1970, it’s been growing at an average rate of 8.7 per cent a year compared to 2.9pc for total terrestrial meat production.

But if it’s going to maintain anywhere near that kind of growth, it’s going to require some alternate feed sources according to immediate past president of the World Aquaculture Society, Dr Geoff Allan.

Speaking at an ATSE Crawford Fund aquaculture conference in Canberra yesterday, Dr Allan said increased aquaculture production was necessary to meet a rising tide of demand for fish brought on by a growing population and its growing appetite for seafood.

However any growth in production needed to be backed by a growth in aquafeed.

Dr Allan, who is the NSW Department of Primary Industries principal scientist for aquaculture, said about 22 million tonnes of fish from capture fisheries were used to make fishmeal and fish oil each year with another five million tonnes of low value “trash fish” fed directly to aquaculture fish and crustaceans.

He said the rapid growth in aquaculture to date had been possible because existing supplies of fishmeal and trash fish had been able to be diverted from other uses.

“However, this can’t continue indefinitely and alternatives must be found,” Dr Allan said.

“There is a global priority to develop formulated feeds to reduce use of trash fish and to find cost-effective alternatives to fishmeal and fish oil for these feeds.”

For the grains industry, he said, it represented a tremendous marketing opportunity particularly in Asia which produced 91pc of the world’s aquaculture and where Australia had a natural freight advantage over other major grain exporters

Source: North Queensland Register
Source or related URL: nqr.farmonline.com.au

From: “Elaine Corets”

———-

United Fishermen, politicians, Native communities worry about aquaculture

Thursday, August 12, 2004

By ELIZABETH BLUEMINK, JUNEAU EMPIRE

The United Fishermen of Alaska, Juneau politicians and Native coastal communities are worried that a federal effort to establish aquaculture in the open ocean isn’t accounting for potential harm to wild fisheries and the marine ecosystem.

“Who is monitoring the high seas for environmental pollution?” asked Don Bremner, of the Southeast Alaska Fish and Wildlife Commission, during a Juneau meeting of the U.S. Marine Fisheries Advisory committee on Wednesday.

“The loss of these foods would be the cultural genocide of our people,” said Bremner, the commission’s acting executive director.

Offshore fish farming could introduce new farmed species such as halibut and black cod, possibly competing with Alaska fishermen, as has already occurred with coastal salmon farming.

Fisherman advocate Mark Vinsel criticized a lack of public disclosure from federal officials on their draft legislation for offshore aquaculture.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has not released details of its planned legislation, expected to be presented as a bill to Congress. The legislation could be included in a reauthorized Magnuson-Stevens Act, the nation’s primary fishing law, or it could be exempted from the act, NOAA officials said Wednesday.

“I don’t understand why this isn’t brought out in the open,” said Vinsel, of the Juneau-based United Fisherman of Alaska. “I invite and encourage you to hold public hearings.”

Bill Hogarth, assistant administrator for NOAA Fisheries, told the local speakers that NOAA will solicit public input on its legislation but that the agency is “not allowed” to disseminate any details until the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) completes its own review.

“I think these are good recommendations,” said Hogarth, regarding conservation-based proposals offered by the speakers, such as eliminating the current voluntary code of conduct for aquaculture operations.

Oceana, a national conservation group, has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to collect whatever data NOAA has collected regarding the proposed new industry.

“We think the public has a right to know,” said Jim Ayers, Oceana’s Pacific Coast Regional Director, based in Juneau, who is worried that the agency is not giving enough attention to environmental concerns. “We are going to take it to court if we have to,” he said.

Through the governor’s office, the state of Alaska submitted comments to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy on June 3 asking for a five-year moratorium on all permitting of ocean-raised shell- and finfish.

Murkowski appeared briefly before the marine advisory committee on Wednesday morning to mention his support for a continued “moratorium” on salmon farming in Alaska and a wait-and-see approach for shrimp, black cod and halibut.

Black cod and halibut farming have been heavily researched and black cod farms are now permitted in British Columbia.

During a break in the meeting, Alaska Sen. Kim Elton, D-Juneau said that he is stunned by some of differences in U.S. aquaculture policy with other national programs. Referring to the dramatic escape of massive numbers of farmed salmon in Chile and Canada, Elton said, “If our free-range chickens ran into Mexico, you know you’d have a problem.”

But so far, there hasn’t been a substantive discussion of whether aquaculture can occur without invasive-species problems. “These are real issues,” Elton said.

Not all the comments about offshore aquaculture were negative. One of the major discussion points was a successful, offshore finfish and shellfish research project off New Hampshire.

The Open Ocean Aquaculture project, which only uses native fish, has caused “no measurable changes” in the surrounding environment, said Rich Langan, director of the University of New Hampshire’s Cooperative Institute for New England Mariculture and Fisheries.

Also, the operation has produced some of the largest, meatiest mussels available on the market today, Langan said, showing a photo comparison of the project’s mussels with store-bought mussels.

Another speaker highlighted economic opportunities across the country from aquaculture. “It’s real jobs,” said Gunnar Knapp, a University of Alaska economist, adding that though offshore aquaculture has been on a very small scale, worldwide, it is now on the edge of a “technological breakthrough.”

Knapp, of Anchorage, said dialogue on the offshore issue should include “how do we get maximum benefit from both wild (fisheries) and aquaculture.”

Though Alaska banned salmon farming in state waters, “it didn’t help us,” Knapp said, in reference to the economic ravage wrought on coastal communities from salmon farming elsewhere.

“U.S. trade policy offers little protection to wild fisheries,” Knapp added.

Also during the meeting, Bremner of the inter-tribal commission asked NOAA to initiate a tribal liaison office to coordinate its fisheries activities with Native American tribes.

The committee members thanked the speakers for their comments and Hogarth said that the topics addressed in the meeting could be used as a template for future meetings across the country.

The committee wraps up its meetings in Juneau on this afternoon.

Ý Elizabeth Bluemink can be reached at elizabeth.bluemink@juneauempire.com.
From: “Elaine Corets” manglar@comcast.net

The MAP News, 143rd Ed., 3 Aug 2004

Dear Friends,

This is the 143rd Edition of the Mangrove Action Project News.

This newsletter is brought to you for free, but PLEASE help MAP stay in this fight for the future by becoming a donating subscriber today! cCntact: mangroveap@olympus.net

Salud,

Alfredo Quarto,
Mangrove Action Project

Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.

MAP News Archive
Contents for MAP NEWS, 143rd Edition, 3 August 2004
FEATURE STORY
Three Reports From July 26th Liberation of the Mangroves Day!

MAP WORKS
New Website On Mangrove Restoration Launched
Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop
Work-Study Tour In the Mangroves

AFRICA
Nigeria
Deforestation in Niger Delta worries NDPEHRD
Group Mobilises Students Against Illegal Logging

ASIA
S.E. ASIA
Thailand
Thailand pleads with US to hold off on shrimp tariffs
Govt to fight anti-dumping duties on shrimp exports
FROM THE PROVINCES: Sago’s symbolic revival
Warrant out for arrest of councilor
ANTI-DUMPING TARIFF: US slaps 6.4% duty on shrimp

Singapore
Singapore-bound prawns to be checked for formaldehyde

Indonesia
Govt plans to limit shrimp imports

S. ASIA
India
Planned Shrimp Tariffs Upset Exporters

Bangladesh
Female labourers in shrimp farms
work amid hazards
Action needed to avert catastrophe

Japan
Sign On: Help Protect Coral Reef Dugong from U.S. Military

LATIN AMERICA
Brazil
Brazil to take US shrimp tariff to WTO

Mexico/ Guatemala
PACIFIC COAST COMMUNITIES CONFRONT SHRIMP FARM THREAT

NORTH AMERICA
USA
New US tariffs levied on shrimp imports
U.S. Proposes Shrimp Tariffs for 4 Nations
Countries protest U.S. shrimp policy
Texas Shrimp Industry Faces Jumbo Threat

STORIES/ISSUES
Smoked bamboo techniques
A Study Finds Mercury Levels in Fish Exceed U.S. Standards.

ANNOUNCEMNETS
Sustainable Livelihood Alternative Websites

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS
Shrimp Farming and the Environment
The Handbook of Philippine Mangroves
SEVENTH ASIAN FISHERIES
FORUM.

AQUACULTURE CORNER
FISH FARM LEGISLATION SPAWNS MORE DANGER FOR WILD SALMOM
More than a million salmon escape from farm pens in Ays?n, Chile

AROUND THE CORNER
MAP’s News In Iran

FEATURE STORY
Three Reports From July 26th Liberation of the Mangroves Day!

Ecuador
Resolutions of the Congress of Ancestral Users of the Mangrove Ecosystem of the Ecuadorian Coast

Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador
BAHIA DE CARAQUEZ
JULY 25, 2004

The communities of ancestral users of mangrove ecosystems of the Ecuadorian coast came together during the Mangrove Liberation Campaign in the city of Bahia de Caraquez to confront the destruction of the mangrove ecosystem, which has been degraded almost 70%, primarily by the shrimp farming industry. The following has been demanded of the authorities:

* Urgently address and approve the conservation of mangrove ecosystems law as a necessary guarantee of the conservation of the last hectares of mangrove that exist in the country, and of their communities of ancestral users.
* Demand the creation of a decree that shrimp ponds that are illegal or abandoned be returned to mangrove ecosystems by means of reforestation for the benefit of the community.
* Undertake a national plan of mangrove reforestation with a special budgetary item, carried out by the communities.
* Execute the judgments against the shrimp farm industry, facilitating enforcement of fines and reforestation of the areas that have been cut illegally.
* Enact a moratorium on the shrimp farming industry until studies of carrying capacity and environmental impact on mangrove ecosystems are completed.
* Solicit the authorities the participation, with voice and votes, of C-CONDEM in the National Council of Fisheries Development.
* Define the institutional competence in the control of artisanal fishing and harvesting activities that would guarantee the continued use of the mangrove ecosystem by ancestral users.
* Base season closures of mangrove ecosystem resources on scientific studies that determine the biologic and biometric parameters according to each hydrographic system, with the participation of universities and ancestral users of the local ecosystem. Community established season openings and closings should be promoted.
* Demand the immediate suspension of the Project that is financed by ITO and under the auspices of the Environmental Ministry, which carried out COLMADERA and the project MAJAHUAL, since this project has not consulted with the communities in advance and does not take into consideration the co-administration agreement of the Ecuadorian coast mangrove ecosystem that C-CONDEM currently has with the Environmental Ministry.
* Demand of the local governments the defense, recuperation, and conservation of the mangrove ecosystem.
* We are opposed to every intent to legalize the shrimp farming industry and installation of other industries that affect the mangrove ecosystem. We demand the necessary information about the processes of increasing concessions to the industry and the recuperation of the mangrove ecosystem as a national heritage forest managed by the local communities for the benefit of food security and theeconomies of the local artisanal fishing and harvesting communities of the Ecuadorian coastal fringe.

Líder Góngora Farías
President C-CONDEM

Edgar Lemos Izquierdo
Spokesman for C-CONDEM Esmeraldas – north

Marcelo Cotera Torres
Spokesman for C-CONDEM Esmeraldas – south

Washington Saltos
Spokesman for C-CONDEM Manabí

Tomás Cruz
Spokesman for C-CONDEM El Oro

Elsa Rodríguez
Spokeswoman for C-CONDEM Guayas

From: “Coordinadora Nacional para la Defensa del Manglar”

Translated by Noya Muñoz

======

Burma

Review of Some Events Held On July 26th -International Mangrove Day!

Mangrove Theme O-Four

Dear Friends,

We are pleased to share our sincere message with you ALL for a global call
for the “Freedom for the Mangroves Day” instigated by Red Manglar of Latin America in association with Mangrove
Action Project (MAP).

26 July is a day inviting all people ‘local to global’ to mark a calendar by planting mangrove seedlings, holding meeting and/or workshop, cleaning shoreline, collecting trash in the mangrove reserve, writing a letter and sharing the message.. to accomplish the mission in whatever contribution that has been shared, for the defense of the mangrove ecosystem or to help conserve and restore mangrove and its related ecological importance.

This is our 2nd year of marking the celebration of 26 July: Day of the Mangroves. The theme chosen for previous year 2003 was “Save the Mangroves” and for this year 2004 is “Freedom for the Mangroves” symbolizing to liberate the incarcerated natural mangrove resource from booming fashionable
man-made resource.

This Mangrove Day is commemorated every year in the international, regional, national and local levels and in respect of Greenpeace Activist Hayhow Daniel Nanoto from Micronesia who paid his life while involved in massive action, on this day in 1998. Led by FUNDECOL and ‘Greenpeace International’, the action was taken place in the local community ‘Muisne’, in an attempt to restore the damaged zone back to its former state as a mangrove forest. Since Hayhow’s death, this day has been remembered as a day to take renewed action in saving and defending mangroves and on its surrounding issues.

Dr Mike Shanahan of EJF: Environmental Justice Foundation (UK) in his articles has reminded us about the crucial linkage between poverty and the destruction of natural environment and Dr. Gilberto Contron has pointed out a great concern for EVERYBODY as the mudflats, salt flats and mangroves are closely interrelated as “One Integrated Ecological System” but the domestic and foreign entrepreneurs, venturing in shrimp farming and tourism industry in salt flats and mudflats at the expense of ecosystem and space for the growth of mangroves are ignoring the insidious effects, arguing that “Mangroves are not involved
directly”. This is quite a harmful message disseminated by economic and loan sharks because development is furnished with inseparable form of economic, social, cultural, political and ecological environment that needs sharing the common understanding of priorities and issues. Many lives and livelihoods of grass-roots communities depending on mangroves, if not taken seriously into realization by NOW would become desperate.. to live persistently below the poverty line. This is because mangroves are of great importance in protecting against natural disasters of erosion, rise in sea level and the cyclones and in serving as a refuge, home and a source of food for a number of aquatic species, fauna, flora, terrestrials and people.

However, we highly admired, looking into MAP News, about countries paying respect to the ‘Treaty of Ramsar’ in establishing and maintaining Ramsar Sites of international importance, Sundarban Bio-Diversity Conservation Project (SBCP) 2000 attempting to protect the famous Royal Bengal Tiger and UNESCO World Heritage Site, approval of millions of loan by ADB to rehabilitate and manage Indonesia’s threatened coral reefs and about many other people, organizations and communities in solidarity for “stop robbing
poor to feed the rich” and for “giving back the life to incarcerated mangroves”.We would like to extend our warm and heartiest felicitation to them on this remarkable “Freedom for the Mangroves Day”.

Dear friends, we still have time not too late and price not too costly to reconsider the unwarrantable human economic activities around miracle of investment like shrimp farming and tourism industry expansion in mangrove community which would rouse negative actions toward invaluable natural heritage.

Your Friends of Mangroves
MSN: Mangrove Service Network
Yangon, MYANMAR

From: “Donald Kyaw Hla” dkyawhla@mptmail.net.mm

———-

India

World Mangrove Day Celebrations: World Mangrove Day was commemorated during 22nd to 26th July 2004. The Celebrations were planned for 4 days, which covering a Street Plays on mangroves for 3 days in coastal villages of KrishnaDistrict. A total of 14 villages were covered with a team of members from ACMCNR along with Street players and our CCDP project staff. On the last day i.e. on 26th July a workshop was organized in which 200 elders from 20 coastal villages of Krishna District participated and pledged to conserve the mangrove forest near to their respective villages. It was a great success in conservation efforts. We place our heart-felt gratitude to Sri.E.V.Srinivas, Division Forest Office (DFO), Wildlife Management, Eluru, who participated as Chief Guest, and ensured their cooperation in conserving and empowering the coastal fishermen communities. Also our gratitude to the Forest Range Officer, Nagayalanka Sanctuary area.

From: “Eliah”

MAP WORKS
New Website On Mangrove Restoration Launched

Robin Lewis would like to announce the opening of the web page www.mangroverestoration.com and the availability of the paper:

Stevenson, N. J., R. R. Lewis and P. R. Burbridge. 1999. Disused shrimp ponds and mangrove rehabilitation. Pages 277-297 in “An International Perspective on Wetland Rehabilitation”, W. J. Streever (Ed.). Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands. 338 pp.

at:website

Hard copies may be reqested from: SherryCapaz@aol.com

———-

ANNOUNCEMENT: Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop

The third “Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop will be held at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, in Hollywood, Florida, USA, 21-24 February 2005. The training site is within a 500 ha mangrove restoration project at West Lake Park operated by Broward County. The award-winning project was designed by Roy R. “Robin” Lewis III, who will be teaching the course.

The workshop includes an introduction to mangrove forest ecology, management options and problems, and restoration design issues. The class programs are all given in a PowerPoint format, and each student is provided with a print out of the presentation and additional handouts including monitoring reports for typical restoration projects. Case studies of 5 successful mangrove restoration projects, and several unsuccessful projects, are discussed. Field trips are taken within the 500 ha West Lake Park mangrove restoration project (now 16 years old) and a new project just two years old, for a comparison.

The emphasis is on cost-effective successful mangrove management and restoration, and cost figures for typical projects are discussed and explained. The hydrologic restoration of mangroves is emphasized as the best approach to successful restoration at minimal cost (see Erftemeijer and Lewis 2000, Lewis 1999, 2000a, 2000b, Lewis and Marshall 1998, Lewis and Streever 2000, Stevenson et. al 1999, and Turner and Lewis 1997, for further discussion about hydrologic restoration of mangroves). Planting of mangroves is discussed in light of the many failures of this alone to successfully restore mangroves.

Cost for the course not including travel to Ft. Lauderdale, lodging or food is $650, due by January 1, 2005. Two qualified students will be allowed to attend for free. This course is taught in conjunction with the Mangrove Action Project.

More information can be provided by Sherry Capaz at
and www.mangroverestoration.com.

From: LESrrl3@aol.com

=====
ENJOYABLE WAYS TO HELP SUPPORT MAP

MAP’s Art Gallery Website

Visit the Website of Chilean artist Monica Gutierrez-Quarto to view her gallery café of beautiful prints and paintings.

“I’m happy to introduce my gallery web site. www.gutierrez-Quartogallery.com
Please pass on to others to help increase the visibility A percentage of all sales generated via my website will go towards supporting the good work of Mangrove Action Project.”

For More Information, Please Contact: “monica gutierrez-quarto”

———-

Please Donate Your Frequent Flyer Miles To MAP!

Please consider helping MAP meet those demands for our presence at certain conferences and workshops whereby our greatest cost to attend important events is airfare, which often holds us back from attending important fora where MAP’s presence should be felt.

Please donate your frequent flyer miles to MAP so we can be in the right place at the right time to present MAP’s needed voice at such fora where too often the grassroots voice for the local communities and for the mangroves is not heard.

If you wish to donate your frequent flyer miles, please contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net.

Your help in this important matter will be much appreciated!

———-

Take A Coffee Break For the Mangroves!

Mangrove Action Project
and Grounds for Change

Help support the Mangrove Action Project through the purchase of Grounds for Change triple-certified coffee! Grounds for Change will donate 10% of purchase price to the Mangrove Action Project each time you make a purchase at the Grounds for Change web site. It’s a great way to support socially and environmentally-conscious coffee and healthy mangrove forests across the globe.

You can participate in one of two ways:

1. Visit the Mangrove Action Project web site and click on the DONATE TO MAP THROUGH YOUR NEXT CUP OF COFFEE link.

Or, Click on
2. this link

You will then be directed to the Grounds for Change web site.

Grounds for Change sells only Fair Trade, Organic, Shade-Grown coffee which is roasted by hand, to-order at their family owned facility on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. Grounds for Change is a member of TransFair USA, the Songbird Foundation and the Fair Trade Federation. Grounds for Change further supports fair trade economics by donating 1% of profits to the Fair Trade Federation.

Please note that in order for the 10% donation to be made to MAP, supporters must follow one of the two options outlined above.

From mangroveap@olympus.net

———-

Work-Study Tour In the Mangroves

Work-Study Tour In the Mangroves

MAP Volunteer Work Study/Eco-Tour for Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Oct. 1-10, 2004

A mangrove-restoration and sea turtle conservation project on the Caribbean coast of Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico is being planned for Oct. 1-10, 2004. Depending upon interest and numbers of volunteers, this tour will help restore degraded mangroves and help rescue or care for threatened baby sea turtles, as well as explore the unique cenote and extensive reef ecosystems of the region, as well as visit the nearby Mayan ruins and beautiful beaches. Please join MAP and local volunteers from the surrounding communities in undertaking important beach cleanup and restoration work in paradise setting now threatened by short-sighted development. And, please join us at a three day workshop that deals with important and timely ecological and social justice issues.

MAP will be co-sponsoring this tour with the local NGO, SAVE, in Mexico. At least 10 volunteers are needed to firm up plans for this tour.

For more information, please contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net

———-

John Gray Sea Canoe Eco-Tours
MAP voted “Best of the Best”

MAP encourages anyone who wishes to sea kayak in Thailand to use environmentally responsible guides, and supports JGSC as the best of the best. we are being offered a 20% contribution. the customer booking a tour must indicate that they saw the ad on MAP’s website in order for MAP to receive a commission from “JOHN GRAY’S SEACANOE”.

John Gray’s SeaCanoe delivers high-quality tropical eco-tourism adventures guaranteed to expand your awareness. Lifelong waterman, wildlife rehabber and environmentalist John “Caveman” Gray started tropical kayaking in 1983, bringing ancient Hawaiian natural harmony to modern times. Lava sea caves highlighted Gray’s Hawai’i trips, and the 1985 “Moloka’i’s Forgotten Frontier” documentary won an Emmy, the first of many Awards. In 1999, National Geographic Adventure named Caveman’s SeaCanoe Vietnam itineraries a World Top 25 Adventure.
Phuket Weather
Apr 09, 2003 – 14:50 GMT
partly cloudy 32°C
Humid.: 70 %
(c) asianhotelsdirect

Spreading the seeds of conservation to South-East Asia, Gray explored Phang Nga’s limestone islands in January 1989. Caveman shared his discoveries with Phuket Thai’s, created an experimental Ecotourism laboratory called SeaCanoeT and Phuket’s “Low Volume, High Quality” legend was born. Today, 1,000s visit Phang Nga caves daily with so many “SeaCanoe” companies that Caveman formed John Gray’s Sea CanoeT to clear market confusion. John hates the name, but it’s obvious where Caveman’s creative Labor of Love brings Magic to just a few.

AFRICA
Nigeria
Deforestation in Niger Delta worries NDPEHRD

Soni Daniel, Port Harcourt

The Niger Delta Project for Environment, Human Rights and Development has expressed concern over the alarming rate of depletion of the mangrove by oil companies and others doing business in the region.

The group in a statement in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, maintained that the entire region could be exposed to a serious environmental danger if the trend was not checked immediately.

The statement endorsed by the Head of NDPHRD’s conservation programme in Nigeria, Mr. Nennibarini Zabbey, said that the people of the Niger Delta who produce the wealth of the nation under excruciating poverty, should not be made to suffer further loss through deliberate deforestation.

“It is indeed worrisome that on a daily basis, our mangrove communities are fragmented for the passage of oil pipe trunk lines or cut down entirely for other developmental purposes.

“This is in addition to the extensive devastation occasioned by oil spills and complementary losses to the activities of commercial loggers”, the group pointed out.

The group said that it was the mindless depletion of the mangrove that had given rise to the emergence of the dangerous Nypa palm in most parts of the Niger Delta.

NDPHRD appealed to the Federal Government to call the multinational companies and others currently engaged in the deforestation of the region to desist from the action.

The group said the call had become necessary since Nigeria was a party to the declaration of Global Day of Action Against deforestation and other threats against mangrove forest system as reflected in the Mangrove Action Project.

The PUNCH, Thursday, July 29, 2004

Copyright 2003 – 2004 Punch (Nigeria) Limited. All Rights Reserved
Powered by dnetsystems.net dnet(r)

From: Niger Delta nigerdeltaproject@yahoo.com

———-

Group Mobilises Students Against Illegal Logging

Vanguard (Lagos)
May 11, 2004

Posted to the web May 11, 2004
Jude Njoku
A Calabar-based non- governmental organisation (NGO), Rainforest Resource Development Centre (RRDC), has initiated a novel campaign to alert the nation on the illegal logging and destructive forestry activities currently going on in the Cross River Tropical forest.
The group is using secondary schools in the state as a springboard to champion a state-wide awareness campaign on the activities of such illegal loggers with a view to curtailing their activities and enhancing the revenue generation of the state.

Executive Director of RRDC, Mr. Odey Oyama, who disclosed this to Environment Writers in Lagos last week, lamented that the unsustainable activities of loggers in Cross River State is threatening the tourism programmes of Governor Donald Duke’s administration.
RRDC which came into being in 1997, is an NGO working to protect, preserve and conserve Nigeria’s rainforest and their resources through the promotion of action-oriented programmes.
“In the course of our routine visits to forest communities in Cross River State, we observed with dismay, that there is a lot of illegal logging, poaching and destructive forest activities concentrated in Cross River State forest estate. Various studies carried out by RRDC reveal very frightening outcomes. At the prevailing rate of forest destruction, it is feared that the remaining vestige of the Cross River State Tropical High forest would be obliterated in less than a decade from now if appropriate and prompt actions are not taken to arrest the situation”, he said.
Mr. Oyama explained that due to the intensity of the damage and its grave environmental consequences, the NGO has articulated various strategies to combat these illegal operations and other acts of forest crimes.
The strategies include: *Building collaborations with relevant government institutions, *Promoting partnerships with NGOs, CBOs, FMCs and other relevant civil society organisations and *Promoting community participation in resource monitoring and management through grassroots-based institutional development.
According to Mr Oyama, logging in Cross River State forest estate is predominantly conducted under the permit system. “This basically would require efficient monitoring and enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance with the existing environmental laws and forest legislations and /regulations.
Sadly, our field studies show that in the last four years, over 90% of the logging going on presently is illegal. What is more, a significant portion of these violations is observed in the forest reserves and some areas associated with the National park”, he bemoaned.
The RRDC Executive Director who pointed to logging activities in Okuni Community and the adjourning Cross River South Forest Reserve, lamented that there is “widespread collusion involving foreign logging and trading companies whose illegal activities are leading to massive tax evasion”.
“Economically, these acts of forest crimes are costing forest communities (resource owners) and the government of Cross River State hundreds of millions of naira in royalties and revenue generation. There is equally no doubt that these illegal and unsustainable forestry activities are fast destroying the tourism potentials of Cross River State. It would therefore appear that the laudable eco-tourism initiative which the Cross River State government is trying gallantly to put together would be frustrated in the long run”, Oyama said. The maiden RRDC State-wide Schools’ Challenge and Award Scheme on Environmental Awareness being packaged by his NGO, Oyama explained, will lead students into establishing school-based ecology action groups.
The competition which kicks off on Children’s Day, (May 27), is open to only Secondary Schools in Cross River State and is being organised in collaboration with the State’s Ministry of Education and its various Boards while RRDC is facilitating it with the support of an international NGO, NOVIB, Oxfam of Netherlands.
The objectives of the programme, according to Mr Oyama, include developing students interest in environmental matters; raising their consciousness towards local and global environmental issues with particular reference to the rainforest; creating a forum for intense interaction amongst students to enable them critically interpret and understand their environment and its future and supporting the development of a sustainable future in all ramifications including eco-tourism development.
The first phase of the competition will commence with zonal finals, followed byinter-zonal elimination contests before the grand finale.
The first phase is planned to hold simultaneously in the three senatorial zones of the State. Cash prizes as well as certificates and plaques will be given to eventual winners and runners- up

From: Martien Hoogland

ASIA
S.E. ASIA
Thailand

Thailand pleads with US to hold off on shrimp tariffs
AFP, Bangkok

THE DAILY STAR

Thailand has pleaded with US trade authorities not to impose punitive anti-dumping tariffs on shrimp exported by the kingdom after Washington slapped similar duties on China and Vietnam, the Bangkok Post reported on Friday.

The United States, Thailand’s largest shrimp market, is due to rule next week on whether Thailand, Brazil, Ecuador and India were guilty of dumping shrimp in the US at below market prices.

The Post quoted Thai Commerce Minister Watana Muangsook as urging the Bush administration to engage in “fair and brotherly treatment” in settling the row, citing longstanding ties between the two nations.

He noted that the imposition of higher tariffs could devastate thousands of Thai shrimp farmers and workers in food processing plants as well as raise prices for American consumers.

“We have stood side-by-side throughout the years with the United States as a good friend, be it in Korea, Vietnam and even the current Middle East war,” Watana said, referring in part to Thailand’s current commitment of troops for a humanitarian mission in Iraq.

“We want to call on the US government to give special treatment to this case,” he said, adding “The ruling is very sensitive to the feelings of Thais in general, and I hope the Republican government will not mistreat Thailand.”

Washington hit China and Vietnam with punitive duties on shrimp earlier this month, saying a preliminary investigation showed the two countries were “dumping” the seafood at artificially low prices.

The ruling affects about one billion dollars worth of imports from the two countries.

The duties may be adjusted, but will be collected until a final ruling by the quasi-judicial International Trade Commission next January.

Thailand alone exported 985 million dollars of frozen shrimp to the US last year, or about 55 percent of the 1.8 billion dollars it earned from sales of the seafood abroad.

From: zakir kibria banglapraxis@yahoo.com

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Bangkok Post July 31, 2004

Govt to fight anti-dumping duties on shrimp exports

Thailand will challenge the US decision to impose anti-dumping duties on Thai shrimp exports, even though the rates announced on Thursday were lower than the penalty rates imposed on the five other countries affected.

Commerce Ministry officials and local shrimp exporters are confident they can prove that no anti-dumping charge was warranted, as their low sale costs were the result of the country’s efficient farm system, not dumping.

However, shrimp exporters from other countries who were penalised with higher tariffs than Thailand were upset and complained that the ruling was unfair. Some have even threatened to challenge the United States in the World Trade Organisation.

The US Department of Commerce imposed tariffs ranging from 5.56% to 10.25% on Thai shrimp exports, claiming the shipments were being sold at artificially low prices. Of the six countries being investigated by the US, Ecuador and Thailand were given the lowest rates. The other four countries slapped with anti-dumping duties were Brazil, China, Vietnam and India. The new tariffs will last until Dec 17.

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”

———-

THE NATION July 14, 2004

FROM THE PROVINCES: Sago’s symbolic revival

Published on July 14, 2004

The long-neglected palm is now an emblem of conservation in the South

Visitors to the South may want to sample at least one plate of the local cuisine, but pasta is probably be the last dish anyone would call “local.

When you listen to avid cook Ploenjai Charnsanoh, though, you begin to see how foreign food can have a domestic twist. Her pasta noodles aren,t derived from wheat or imported from Italy. They,re a new local invention prepared with starch extracted from the sago palm, a long-neglected plant species native to the region.

The juicy red tomato sauce layered on top of the pasta probably looks more familiar to Westerners. That,s derived from a recipe provided by Ploenjai,s Italian friend.

Italian sauce, sago pasta ? sort of an East meets West fusion.

“When I first cooked pasta for my family and friends here, they looked sceptically at the red sauce because we don,t use many tomatoes in local cooking, she said. “But those big fresh prawns I put in the sauce were hard to resist. It was the sago pasta, though, that everybody was most excited about.

The palm may have been an ingredient in Ploenjai,s pasta, but when not used in “Italian cuisine, the palm is used as a symbol for efforts to protect the riverine ecosystem that is crucial to this region,s environment and livelihood.

For several months, Ploenjai and the women,s group she works with in Trang,s Nayong and Nakhaosia districts have been experimenting with ? and reviving ? noodle dishes and desserts made from sago starch.

Sago pasta is one of their latest inventions. Some of the new sago dishes have been tested on the market to much acclaim.

Sago palm is an ancient staple of populations scattered across Asia,s tropics. From its tips to its roots, the sago palm is a multi-purpose tree. Starch is the main product, extracted from the trunk and grated into powder for cooking. The leaves are used for roof thatching, and are said to be more durable than the thatch made from nipa palm, or bai jaak.

The palm trees, normally about 10 metres tall, used to flourish along natural waterways and marshy areas, which explains their recent and rapid disappearance from the landscape, a result of wetlands draining and large-scale water development projects.

The degradation of the wetlands and the vanishing sago palm have motivated Ploenjai and her husband, Pisit, leaders of the Yadfon Association environmental group, to initiate campaigns to restore waterways and revive the palm for local use among communities living on the Palian River.

Back in the 1980s, Pisit was one of the first conservationists in Thailand to address the need of protecting mangrove and estuary ecosystems. Today, mangrove protection and the livelihoods of small-scale fishermen remain high on the national conservation agenda.

“Sago is just a medium by which people can look back at the quality of our rivers and other waterways, Pisit said. “To me, this is like talking conserving the now-rare dugongs in the ocean. The idea is getting people to see the close-knit nature of ecosystems, from mountaintop watershed forests, sago palm forests in fresh water, mangroves in brackish water and sea grass and coral reefs in the ocean.

The communities participating in the sago palm conservation campaign agree with Pisit.

Somnuek O-in, a retired headmaster and current chairman of the Nayong conservation group, recalls the day when rivers and wetlands were major food sources for the community. That was before most of them were dredged and drained by local government agencies in the name of irrigation.

“River dredging flattened the riverbed and destroyed underwater pools of fish and other aquatic animals, he said. “The uprooting of the sago palm, as a result of the dredging, resulted in habitat loss for young fish, because the roots of the sago were where eggs were laid.

Apart from rehabilitating and replanting the sago, communities are also fighting new river dredging projects in an attempt to protect their ecosystem and food sources.

“We learned from experience that the benefits of irrigation cannot match conservation of the natural ecosystem, said Weeraphol Kerdphol of Nayong. “What,s the point of having a deeper and wider river? There,s no water anyway, now that the riverine ecosystem has been degraded.

The Yadfon Association and the communities it serves aren,t alone in recognising the importance of the sago palm. Throughout the tropics, the species has been high on the protection and discussion agenda of botanists and conservationists.

Nantiya Tangwisutijit

The Nation, Trang

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia” mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

———-

Bangkok Post July 21, 2004

CHAROEN’S SLAYING

Warrant out for arrest of councillor

Wanted for colluding in murder of activist

Chaiwat Sadyaem

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of local politician Manote Hinkaew on charges of colluding in the June 21 murder of environmental activist Charoen Wat-aksorn.

Mr Manote, 37, a Prachuap Khiri Khan provincial councillor, is a younger brother of Thanu Hinkaew, owner of a law office in the province who has also been charged with colluding in the murder.

Mr Thanu, 40, turned himself in early this month to answer an arrest warrant and was released on five million baht bail.

Earlier, police had arrested two suspected gunmen who were aides to Mr Thanu. Saneh Lekluan, 40, and Prachuap Hinkaew, 39, allegedly confessed that they had shot the activist.

Charoen, who led protests against two power plant projects in Prachuap Khiri Khan, was killed in his home province on June 21 shortly after testifying before a senate panel in Bangkok about an alleged land scam in tambon Bo Nok.

He accused local officials of trying to issue title deeds for 53 rai of public land in Bo Nok to a local influential person.

The land was part of 931 rai of beachfront land that had been turned into prawn farms. The encroachers included former local leaders and a politician.

Pol Maj-Gen Yutthana Thaipakdee, deputy chief of Police Region 7, said the warrant has been issued for the arrest of the politician after evidence showed he was linked to the murder.

On a call by relatives of the slain activist for the Justice Ministry’s Special Investigation Department (SID) to take over the investigation from local police, Pol Maj-Gen Yutthaya said he had no problem if his superiors agreed to transfer the case to the SID.

Sources said Mr Manote failed to show up at the provincial council meeting yesterday. He served as a provincial councillor for three terms.

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia” mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

———-
THE NATION

ANTI-DUMPING TARIFF: US slaps 6.4% duty on shrimp

Published on Jul 31, 2004

Thailand least hurt among six nations charged with unfair trade practices

Thailand’s shrimp exports to the US are to have an average anti-dumping-duty rate of 6.39 per cent slapped on them, lower than those imposed on China, India, Vietnam, Brazil and Ecuador.

The announcement follows a move by the US Commerce Department on Thursday setting preliminary tariffs as high as 67.8 per cent on shrimp imports from Thailand, India, Brazil and Ecuador.

The US has accused the six countries of unfair trade practices by selling their shrimp products in the US below cost and thus hurting American producers.

Following an investigation, the Commerce Department set tariffs of 5.56 to 10.25 per cent for Thailand, 3.56 to 27.49 per cent for India, zero to 67.8 per cent for Brazil and 6.08 to 9.35 per cent for Ecuador.

Vietnam will face an average tariff rate of 16.01 per cent.

This is Commerce’s second ruling in the dumping complaint filed by US shrimp-farmers against the six countries. In a previous ruling covering so-called non-market economies, Commerce proposed tariffs of between 7.67 and 112.81 per cent.

Thursday’s decision is still not final, but the affected countries must soon start making cash deposits equal to the value of tariffs until another government agency, the International Trade Commission, makes a final determination on whether the US shrimp industry has been damaged by foreign imports.

That decision is expected early next year.

Thailand, which earned more than half of its overall US$1.8 billion (Bt74.4 billion) in seafood exports from shrimp sales to the US alone, is not likely be hit hard by the decision.

The Southern Shrimp Alliance, a group representing thousands of small US shrimp-farmers in eight states, filed the complaint. The group has been demanding the government impose tariffs ranging from 30 to 267 per cent on imports from the six countries.

In its petition the group claimed that cheap imports had cut the value of the US shrimp harvest to $560 million in 2002 from $1.25 billion in 2000, as the average dockside price of Gulf of Mexico shrimp nearly halved to $3.30 a pound.

The ITC earlier this year said there was evidence to suggest |that the US shrimp-farmers had suffered economic injury and passed the case to the Commerce Department to determine tariff rates for each country.

Somsak Paneetatayasai, head of the Thai Shrimp Association, said Thailand was unlikely to be hard hit by the US decision because it faced the lowest anti-dumping rate of countries affected.

“The US is importing shrimp from [these six countries] to meet about 75 per cent of its total domestic consumption. Of this, Thailand commands a high market share of 27 per cent. Since we face the lowest tariff rate, US importers should turn to Thailand more for shrimp,” he said.

“We expect Thailand to gain a bigger share of the US shrimp market.”

Rachane Potjanasunthorn, director-general of the Foreign Trade Department at the Ministry of Commerce, agreed that exports would be little affected since the tariff facing Thailand was lower than other countries had to pay.

However, he said the investigation would continue until the end of the year.

“We believe that we have not dumped our shrimp products in the US market. We will continue our fight,” he said.

Dr Ajva Taulanond, chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, echoed the sentiments of Somsak and Rachane but warned that “exporters should not become complacent”.

“They should try to find ways to reduce costs and improve the quality of their products, which should be environmentally friendly,” he said.

The Nation, Dow Jones Newswires

———-

Singapore

Thursday July 22, 2004

Singapore-bound prawns to be checked for formaldehyde

KUALA LUMPUR: All prawn exports to Singapore will be required to abide by new regulations to check on the illegal use of formaldehyde on the crustaceans.

The new regulations, which will take effect next month, were introduced after Singaporean authorities destroyed nine containers of prawns from Malaysia and Indonesia found to contain the chemical last month.

Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said all prawn exports transported by road to Singapore must be checked at the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex in Tanjung Kupang, Johor.

Formaldehyde is a preservative that can cause cancer and is hazardous to health if consumed.

“All live prawn exports must now have a certificate from the Fisheries Department confirming that it is free from the preservative,” he said, adding that all parties involved in the prawn industry have been informed.

“Our prawns are accepted all over the world for their high quality. We have to safeguard our market and cannot afford to let a few black sheep tarnish the market,” he said.

He said the ministry would work together with the Health Ministry to conduct random checks on wholesale markets to ensure compliance….

The Star Online

From: “Elaine Corets”

———-

Indonesia

Govt plans to limit shrimp imports

Zakki P. Hakim, Jakarta

The Jakarta Post

The Ministry of Industry and Trade unveiled proposals on Thursday to tighten up the rules on shrimp imports, particularly from countries affected by U.S. antidumping tariffs.

The proposed measures will focus on restricting imports to those undertaken by shrimp processing companies, and requiring the importers to have certificates of origin for the imported shrimp, according to a document presented during a seminar on the issue.

But senior ministry official Faiz Achmad said that a final decision had yet to be made.

The Indonesian Fishing Industry Association (Gappindo) recently complained of rising shrimp imports from countries like China, Thailand, India and Vietnam — all of which have been affected by the U.S. antidumping tariffs. Following the imposition of tariffs, shrimp from these countries have been exported to the U.S. through Indonesia as a transshipment point.

But there are now growing fears that if this continues, the U.S. will also impose antidumping tariffs on all shrimp coming from Indonesia, something that would also hurt genuine local exporters. If this were to happen, the local shrimp market would suffer from oversupply, which in turn would put pressure on prices and hurt local shrimp farmers.

Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Rokhmin Dahuri, who had earlier proposed a temporary ban on imports starting next year as farmers start their harvests, said he would support the Ministry of Industry and Trade proposal.

But he said that any reexport of imported shrimp must follow further processing here so as to provide added value.

According to figures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade, last year Indonesia imported 2,621 tons of shrimp — amounting to only 0.55 percent of the country’s total production of 478,847 tons.

But imports have started to accelerate this year, with the import volume already having reached 2,600 tons in the first half of the year, according to the ministry data.

Meanwhile, exports to the U.S. in the first four months of this year reached 10,202 tons, compared to an average annual export volume of 17,546 tons.

Shrimp is Indonesia’s top export commodity in the agricultural sector, producing earnings of US$2.45 billion and $2.59 billion in 2001 and 2002 respectively.

JAKARTA POST

From: “Elaine Corets”

———-

S. ASIA
India
Planned Shrimp Tariffs Upset Exporters
Associated Press. 07.30.2004, 05:11 AM

Indian shrimp exporters said Friday that proposed U.S. tariffs on their products are unfair and unwarranted and denied a U.S. charge that canned and frozen shrimp and prawns are being dumped at low prices.

“We are very disappointed by the ruling,” Abraham Tharakan, president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India, told The Associated Press. “The proposed tariffs are unfair and unwarranted.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce on Thursday proposed the duties on shrimp and prawn imports from Brazil, Ecuador, India and Thailand, saying these countries were pricing their products artificially low on the U.S. market.

Prawns and shrimps are much more expensive in the United States than in Asia, South America and southern Africa.

The U.S. Commerce Department proposed duties ranging from 4 percent to 27 percent for Indian exporters.

The United States is India’s second-largest shrimp buyer after Japan. Nearly a quarter of Indian shrimp exporters’ US$1 billion annual earnings come from American imports.

In Cochin, Kerala state’s commercial capital, the exporters association will consider its next move after consultations with Garvey Schubert Barer, a U.S.-based law firm hired to fight the case, Tharakan said.

“I hope justice will be done to countries like India because we have not been dumping cheap shrimp in U.S. markets,” Tharakan said.

FORBES

From: “Elaine Corets”

———-

Bangladesh

Female labourers in shrimp farms
work amid hazards

TAPOS KANTI DAS, Khulna

NewAge, August 1, 2004. Dhaka, Bangladesh www.newagebd.com

Women labourers engaged in different shrimp processing farms in the city are always deprived of their rights, due wages and legitimate facilities.
Some 6,000 women in 16 shrimp processing farms have to perform all sorts of odd jobs such as labelling, packing, washing and making shrimps headless for 12 to 14 hours a day.
They are not given hand glove, apron and mask. They are supplied these things when some foreigners, buyers and high government officials come to the farms.
Though the nature of their job is very strenuous and tiresome, their wages are not commensurate with the volume of work they put every day. Their wages range from Tk 700 to Tk 1,800 a month.
The women workers are given leave for only two days a month. For this they have to work in two extra shifts.
Their maternity leave is only for three days. If any woman worker fails to join her work after her 3-day maternity leave she is simply fired from the job without assigning any reason.
A woman labour meets the same fate if she remains absent in the farm for three consecutive days.
Some women workers complained that they were neither given appointment letter nor identity card.
They are working in the farms on the verbal instruction of the farm management.
The women workers have to live in unhealthy environment in cheap thatched houses in slums as they cannot afford to rent good houses.
During a recent visit to several shrimp processing farms it was found that most of the women workers have infection in their fingers.
The management of the farms is indifferent to the healthcare of the workers.
Besides, the women workers have to face sexual harassment very often both from the employers and the middlemen who managed their job in the farms.

From: zakir kibria banglapraxis@yahoo.com

———-

Editorial: The Daily Star
Action needed to avert catastrophe
Diarrhoea spreading fast
We are extremely concerned at the alarming rate of people having been afflicted by diarrhoea and other waterborne diseases in the flooded districts. If the official death toll stands at 544, the unofficial statistics of casualties are bound to be much higher. The picture surely gets grimmer when one learns that medical officers at the flood-ravaged districts have reportedly treated more than one hundred thousand people with health complaints in three weeks. These figures should be enough for the concerned authorities to seriously consider intensifying medical care in the flooded villages around the country.

With more than half the country under floodwater and millions homeless, the people in the submerged areas are battling against a disease that could soon turn out to be the biggest catastrophe. Lack of safe drinking water, water purifying tablets, medical supplies like ORS and other medicines only add to the woes people have been suffering since the beginning of the flood season. There have been reports about people using water from the wells without boiling or chlorinating it in any way. The prices of water purification tablets and ORS have also gone up.

The government must act fast if it really wants to avert an epidemic breaking out. Already the hospitals and other treatment centres are not being able to accommodate all those who are rushing in there. ICDDR,B in Dhaka has already admitted patients three times their capacity. The situation is likely to deteriorate further once the water begins to recede considerably. The government should immediately take measures to beef up supplies of ORS, chlorophenical tablets, medicines and vaccines. The scarcity of potable water is the real scourge now; unless we ensure its abundant supply, the people’s vulnerability to water-borne diseases can not be contained.

From: zakir kibria banglapraxis@yahoo.com

———-

Japan

Sign On: Help Protect Coral Reef Dugong from U.S. Military

Please respond to Peter Galvin pgalvin@biologicaldiversity.org by 5PM
Monday, August 2. Please also forward to other environmental NGO’s that may
be interested in signing on. Letter also attached.

Dear Colleague,

In Okinawa, Japan almost 400 types of coral form reefs that support more than 1,000 species of fish, marine mammals and sea turtles. This incredible
array of life makes the island second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in terms of marine biodiversity.

Tragically, a military project backed by the U.S. and Japanese governments threatens to doom a critically important coral reef near Henoko and destroy critically important habitat for numerous rare wildlife species including the dugong, an endangered marine mammal related to the manatee and a cultural icon in Japan and three species of sea turtle. Local residents voted against the airbase project in a referendum, but Japanese and U.S.
authorities are ignoring their voices.

In July of 2004, 889 of the world,s leading coral scientists and researchers from 83 countries gathered at the 10th International Coral Reef
Symposium in Okinawa, where they signed a petition in opposition to the airbase project.

We need your help and support to stop this misguided project. Construction of the new airbase would cause severe ecological damage to one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth. For this reason, we are asking fellow non-governmental organizations like yours to sign a letter to President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi urging these two leaders to cancel the base construction plan.

Adding your voice to this effort will help greatly in the effort to protect the dugong and one of the most biologically significant places on earth.
Even if your group does not work on international issues, your voice will be a valuable one for elected officials to hear. Thank you very much for
your support.

Sincerely,

Peter Galvin
Conservation Director
Center for Biological Diversity
P: (707) 986-7805
Email Peter Galvin

Please respond to Peter Galvin pgalvin@biologicaldiversity.org by 5PM
Monday, August 2. Please also forward to other environmental NGO’s that may
be interested in signing on.

LATIN AMERICA
Brazil

Brazil to take US shrimp tariff to WTO
AFP, BRASILIA , July 31

Brazil will dispute before the World Trade Organization a US tariff hike on its shrimp, fisheries secretary Jose Fritsch said.
Tariffs of up to 67.8 per cent followed a US probe into alleged “dumping” at artificially low prices. The tariffs were announced Thursday, and will come up for a final ruling by the quasi-judicial International Trade Commission at the end of the year.
“We will try to reverse the decision … but if it is confirmed in December, we will go to the WTO,” Fritsch told AFP.
Fritsch called the US hike “protectionist.”
“Brazil has high productivity and low costs,” he said.
“We practically doubled the world production average, to six tonnes per hectare from three tonnes per hectare,” he said.
“There is no ‘dumping’.”
On Thursday, Brazil said it would consider taking the new US tariff to the WTO.
The United States slapped tariffs on shrimp, claiming Brazil, Ecuador, India and Thailand “dumped” the product at artificially low prices.
The Commerce Department said the duties would range up to 67.8 per cent for Brazil, 6.08 to 9.35 per cent for Ecuador, 3.56 to 27.49 per cent for India and 5.56 to 10.25 per cent for Thailand.
It was the second action on shrimp in the past month after duties were imposed on shrimp from China and Vietnam.

From: zakir kibria banglapraxis@yahoo.com

———-

Mexico/ Guatemala

‘NACLA Report on the Americas’ :

PACIFIC COAST COMMUNITIES CONFRONT SHRIMP FARM THREAT

In Mexico and Guatemala, two Pacific coast communities have successfully fought back against commercial shrimp farms the residents say threaten local wetlands and livelihoods.

By Wendy Call, Vol. 36, No. 6 May/June 2003

In the past ten years, scientists and economists have begun using ñecological footprint? models to account for the total land and natural resources required to produce a commodity, or maintain a certain standard of living.[13] An ecological footprint gives a rough idea of the efficiency and sustainability of an enterprise by including all the inputs required and wastes generated. When applied to industrial shrimp farms, the model shows those operations are not more efficient over the long term than people fishing with nets and canoes.[14] Each acre of shrimp pond in an intensive operation requires somewhere between 35 and 190 acres of healthy mangrove to provide the raw materials (shrimp larvae, fish food, and clean water) and process the wastes it creates.[15] When the inputs and wastes are factored in, the net production of edible protein produced by intensive shrimp farms and mangrove forests, acre for acre, are roughly equal.[16]

From: “Elaine Corets”

NORTH AMERICA
USA
New US tariffs levied on shrimp imports

By Edward Alden in Washington
Financial Times – FT.com, Published: July 30 2004

The US took further steps yesterday to restrict imports of the most popular seafood in the US, by announcing it would impose new tariffs on shrimp from Thailand, India, Ecuador and Brazil.

The duties will affect imports that last year were worth nearly $1.7bn (?933m), and come on top of tariffs imposed this month against shrimp imports from Vietnam and China worth more than $1bn.

But the actions, in an anti-dumping case brought by domestic shrimp fishermen who have seen their share of the US market dwindle in the face of imports of low-cost, farm-raised shrimp, are unlikely to result in sharply higher domestic prices. Imports comprise more than 85 per cent of shrimp sales.

The US Commerce Department, in its preliminary determination released yesterday, ruled that while the four countries were selling shrimp at below fair cost in the US, they should face only modest penalties.

Thailand, which is by far the largest shrimp exporter to the US, with sales worth nearly $1bn last year, was assessed new tariffs ranging from 5.56 per cent to 10.25 per cent. India, the fourth largest exporter, will pay new levies of between 3.56 per cent and 27.5 per cent, with most exporters paying 14.2 per cent. Most Brazilian exporters will pay an extra 37 per cent, while Ecuadorian companies will pay from 6.1 per cent to 9.35 per cent.

US shrimp fishermen and processors had been seeking far higher duties on these countries, ranging between 32 per cent and 166 per cent.

Under US law, while preliminary cash deposits or bonds will be collected immediately on the imports, the penalties will not become final unless a separate agency, the International Trade Commission, rules early next year that US fishermen have been harmed by unfairly priced imports.

The case, one of the largest US anti-dumping actions, has generated strong international criticism over fears that the US would block one of the most lucrative exports for poorer countries such as Vietnam, India and Thailand.

US importers and sellers of shrimp said they would continue to fight to remove the duties. “These four countries are not dumping shrimp in the US. They are efficiently producing a high-quality product and the US industry has failed to compete effectively with these imports,” said Wally Stevens, chairman of the Shrimp Task Force.

Critics also say that such cases are being encouraged by the Byrd rule, which allows US companies bringing such cases to pocket the tariff revenues that are collected.

At an average tariff of just 15 per cent, US shrimp fishermen and processors who filed the case would gain about $180m a year, according to estimates by opponents of the case.

The World Trade Organisation has ruled that the US must rescind the Byrd rule, but Congress has yet to act on the WTO decision.

SOURCE

From: “Elaine Corets” manglar@comcast.net

———-

U.S. Proposes Shrimp Tariffs for 4 Nations

By CAIN BURDEAU
.c The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The Bush administration proposed imposing tariffs on shrimp imports from four of the largest shrimp-producing nations in Asia and South America.

The U.S. Department of Commerce said Thursday that exporters from Brazil, Ecuador, India and Thailand have dumped canned and frozen warm water shrimp on the U.S. market at artificially low prices, hurting domestic producers.

The proposed duties were considerably smaller than what the petitioners – Southern shrimpers and processors – had sought. They varied from country to country based on each country’s sales and production prices.

Brazilian exporters faced the stiffest duties, ranging up to 68 percent. The government proposed duties of between 4 percent and 27 percent for Indian exporters; between 6 percent and 10 percent for Thai exporters and between 6 percent and 9 percent for Ecuadorian businesses.

Petitioners had sought duties ranging up to 349 percent for Brazil and between 57 percent and 166 percent for the other three countries.

Opponents of tariffs say duties could drive shrimp prices up and do little to uplift a domestic industry unable to supply the country’s demand for shrimp.

Although the ruling was preliminary, it will likely stand. The Commerce Department will make a final decision by the end of the year and the U.S. International Trade Commission will decide in February if imports have damaged the domestic industry, a finding it has already issued in a preliminary ruling.

The ruling, released in Washington as a result of petitions by shrimpers in Louisiana and other coastal states, came three weeks after the U.S. Department of Commerce proposed tariffs on China and Vietnam. In all, the six countries provide about 75 percent of the shrimp Americans eat.

Southern shrimpers and processors filed the antidumping petition in December, alleging that their industry was on the brink of destruction because of a flood of cheap shrimp.

The Southern Shrimp Alliance, an eight-state group that paid for the trade action, has said dumping cut the value of the U.S. harvest by more than half between 2000 and 2002, from $1.25 billion to $560 million.

Exporters and importers deny the charges and accuse the Bush administration of protectionism. They argue that booming U.S. demand for shrimp and a flowering shrimp farming industry are behind the rise in imports – not dumping.

But Southern shrimpers say the problem started in 2001 when Europe and Japan began blocking imports of farm-raised shrimp because of concerns of unhealthy levels of antibiotics. Also, shrimpers charge that shrimp farming has exploded only because of subsidies by the World Bank and national governments.

From: LESrrl3@aol.com
———-

Countries protest U.S. shrimp policy

By Daniel Cooney

31/07/2004 14:24:17
Proposed U.S. tariffs on imports from four of the world’s largest shrimp-producing nations sparked protests Friday with Brazil, Ecuador, India and Thailand denying selling shellfish on the U.S. market at artificially low prices.

Brazilian shrimp farmers, who tripled production in five years to profit from rising worldwide demand, said they plan to appeal the proposed tariffs that could run as high as 68 percent for Latin America’s largest country.

Lower tariffs have been proposed against India and Thailand, as well as Ecuador. The U.S. administration claims that the low prices at which the four nations have been selling their shrimp in the United States has hurt domestic producers.

The announcement Thursday came three weeks after the United States proposed tariffs on shrimp from China and Vietnam. In all, the six countries provide about 75 percent of the shrimp Americans eat.

Prawns and shrimps are much more expensive in the United States than in Asia, South America and southern Africa. Although the latest proposal is preliminary, it is expected to stand. The U.S. Commerce Department will make a final decision in a few months.

Even though Thailand denies the dumping charges, government officials and industry leaders said the country may actually benefit from the U.S. ruling.

Tariffs on Thai shrimp are expected to average 6.4 percent, significantly lower than those Brazil and other nations face.

“It’s a good opportunity for Thai shrimp farmers,” said Somsak Paneetatyasai, president of the Thai Shrimp Association. “Thailand has the lowest rate among the six countries, so it benefits the shrimp industry in Thailand because our competitiveness is better than before.”

Indian shrimp exporters, who face tariffs of 4 percent to 27 percent, said the proposal was “unfair and unwarranted.”

“We are very disappointed by the ruling,” Abraham Tharakan, president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India, told The Associated Press.

He said the association had hired a U.S.-based law firm to defend its interest.

“I hope justice will be done to countries like India because we have not been dumping cheap shrimp in U.S. markets,” Tharakan added.

Itamar Rocha, president of the Brazilian Shrimp Farmers Association, also denied selling at artificially low prices.

“This is not dumping,” Rocha said. “What we have are good Brazilian entrepreneurs who identified a market and built businesses to supply the demand.”

Rocha said the association will soon map its legal strategy to contest the decision. Brazil’s Foreign Ministry said the government will study ways to challenge the proposed tariffs with the 147-nation World Trade Organization.

Brazil, like other developing countries where shrimp are grown in manmade lagoons from larvae hatched in laboratories, benefits from low labor costs and a temperate climate. And the industry’s heart in northeastern Brazil near the Equator has year-round sunshine and warm temperatures that make for near-perfect shrimp growing conditions.

“America can’t compete with our region because it doesn’t have our conditions,” Rocha said.

While American food producers receive government subsidies seen as lavish in developing countries, Rocha added, “the government of Brazil does not help Brazilian shrimp producers with subsidies.”

Warren Connelly, a trade lawyer for Ecuador, where shrimp is the third leading export, said “the only thing I can say is that the gap between the allegations and the reality is significant.”

Ecuadorean shrimp exports now face tariffs between 6 percent and 9 percent.

Teodoro Maldonado, vice president of the Guayaquil Chamber of Commerce, estimated that the tariffs would cost the Ecuadorean shrimp industry $30 million a year.

GROWFISH

From: “Elaine Corets” manglar@comcast.net

———-

Texas Shrimp Industry Faces Jumbo Threat

Shrimp Market Mainstay Sailing Rough Seas

UPDATED: 2:03 PM EDT August 3, 2004
ARROYO CITY, Texas — When a rare virus hit his shrimp ponds this year, Fritz Jaenike feared the disease might wipe out the crop as it did in many southern Texas farms in 1995.

His crop seems to have recovered thanks to a costly restocking with virus-resistant larvae. But other problems have farmers in one of the top shrimp-producing states feeling uneasy as harvest begins: Foreign competition, low prices, labor problems and high fuel costs.

“It’s too early to tell what kind of an impact it’s going to have,” Jaenike said of the virus. “It was going to be a tough year anyway, but this will make it tougher.”

In hopes of offsetting record low prices, coastal farms overstocked by about 10 percent this year, said Ya-Sheng Juan, aquaculture liaison and inspector for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

However, enough shrimp died from the virus to cancel out the extra stock. Ya-Sheng predicted about 4,000 pounds of shrimp per acre of pond this year, an average output.

“They’re doing OK, not very good,” he said. “Not as good as they expected.”

The United States provides 10 percent of the world shrimp market, and much of that is from Texas. In fact, Texas shrimpers catch one-third of the shrimp caught in the Gulf of Mexico.

Additionally, 70 percent of U.S. shrimp farms are in Texas.

Market prices have dropped from about $3 a pound to $2 a pound since 2000, thanks to a doubling of production from China and Vietnam, a dip in sales, and the rejection by Europe and Canada of antibiotic-treated shrimp.

Many shrimpers were hoping last week’s proposed tariffs on foreign shrimp wouldhelp.

The Bush administration suggested duties of up to 68 percent for Brazilian exporters, and smaller ones for Indian, Thai, and Ecuadorean businesses. The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to approve the proposal within a few months.

Wilma Anderson, executive director of the Texas Shrimp Association, was upbeat about the tariffs.

“I think it will help the shrimp industry tremendously. I’m counting on it, anyway,” she said of the tariffs. “But it won’t happen overnight.”

Still, some say the market has already been flooded in anticipation of the restrictions — which industry representatives wanted to be much higher.

“There’s enough shrimp built up to supply every restaurant and supermarket in America for a year and a half,” Jaenike said. “It seemed like the tariffs weren’t very high. I don’t believe it’s going to increase our prices that much.”

Shrimpers who head out into the Gulf of Mexico have even more concerns.

“Shrimp prices haven’t come up. And production? With the product we’ve seen so far, the shrimp’s been small and that hasn’t helped.” shrimp boat owner Carlton Reyes said.

Heavy spring rains probably diluted the salty bay waters that brown shrimp favor for spawning, said James Nance of the National Marine Fisheries Service in Galveston. Nance predicted a slow season off the coast of Texas, a better season near Louisiana.

“Galveston Bay has been a fairly good predictor of what’s happening off Texas,” Nance said. The annual June monitoring of the Galveston Bay catch showed low numbers.

In Port Isabel, some shrimpers are hoping they’ll make payroll and their boat payments.

“The banks don’t want the boats; that’s a disaster,” Reyes said.

A trawler burns about 350 gallons of fuel a night. Two years ago, diesel was less than 80 cents a gallon. Fuel prices are now about $1.20 gallon. As the harvesting season kicked off this month, about one-third of the shrimp boats never left the docks.

Owners had come to rely on Mexican crewmembers, and new regulations against foreign shrimpers mean small crews are often inexperienced. Some owners are laying off crews.

“We have a number of vessels coming in and dropping off crew headers,” Reyes said of the workers who behead shrimp before they are frozen. “They weren’t catching enough to keep the headers busy.”

KSAT

From: “Elaine Corets”
STORIES/ISSUES
Smoked bamboo techniques

By Carlos Bernal

Bamboo is a valuable material to build houses for the poor people in Colombia and especially in the Coffee Region. In the past years, Simón Vélez, a Colombian architect, has positioned this material also in the houses of the upper class people.

Bamboo is very interesting from the point of view of the sustainability, because a guadua (bamboo) of 9 meters is ready to be cut and used 5 to 7 years after it has been sown. An element of construction of the same dimension obtained from the traditional way needs to grow for 30 to 50 years.
Guadua being treated in the smoking process

The weakness of the bamboo is that this material is very easily attacked by insects and plagues. The traditional system to conserve bamboo consists of immunisation through the use of strong and toxic chemicals that are very effective for this process, but they are also very harmful for nature, environment and people living in the houses and the ones who work with it.
Untreated and smoked guadua

The smoked bamboo project uses a very old technology, the bamboo is put in ovens which, through incineration of waste wood, produces smoke and at the same time a pyriletic acid that impregnates the walls of the bamboo creating a natural barrier that does not permit the penetration of insects and plagues. Therefore, the significance of this project is that by applying the old technology, a chemical and toxic immunisant is substituted by a natural one.

All that was done, as everything in ZERI, was to watch and learn from nature. It was simply to realise that the ceilings in the kitchens of the farmers, usually built in guadua, lasted longer than the rest of the house due to the production of smoke coming from firewood used in cooking.

From: “Elaine Corets”

———-

A Study Finds Mercury Levels in Fish Exceed U.S. Standards.

More than half
the fish in the nation’s lakes and reservoirs have levels of mercury that
exceed government standards for women of child-bearing age and children,
according to an environmental coalition’s analysis of a survey by the EPA.
New York Times [related stories]

From: mritchie@iatp.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Sustainable Livelihood Alternative Websites

Note: These are three good websites dealing with sustainable livelihood alternatives..

Livelihoods Connect. This site, which has been developed by DFID and IDS, has a large collection of documents and a guide to organisations involved in sustainable livelihoods. www.livelihoods.org/

The site of the UNDP Sustainable Livelihoods Unit provides access to numerous strategy papers, field guides and workshop reports.

The Overseas Development Institute has published briefing papers on sustainable livelihoods, although they are not collected in one place on the website. Use the search tool to get a list of ‘livelihoods’ documents. www.odi.org.uk

From: “Benjamin Brown”

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS
Shrimp Farming and the Environment

ENACA.ORG

Category: Shrimp Farming   the Environment Consortium case studies  reports Thematic reviews Thematic Review on Coastal wetland habitats and shrimp aquaculture Version: 2003
Submitted Date: 4/3/2004 Description:

Authors
Roy R. “Robin” Lewis III, Michael J. Phillips, Barry Clough, Donald J. Macintosh

Correspondence
Roy R. “Robin” Lewis III lesrrl3@aol.com and Michael Phillips michael.phillips@enaca.org

Translated by Noya Mu?oz

———-
The Handbook of Philippine Mangroves – Panay (2004) by
J.H. Primavera, R.B. Sadaba, M.J.H. Lebata and J.P. Altamirano is:

- a field guide for local communities, NGOs, students, teachers and researchers to identify 35 species of Philippine mangroves based on plant morphology (shape, color, texture, size), and biology and ecology (substrate, intertidal level, reproductive season)
- covers 106 pages with numerous full color photos, has a laminated cover and handy size ideal for field use
- chapters on Importance of Mangroves, Decline and Legislation, Conservation, Mangrove-Friendly Aquaculture, Rehabilitation

For orders, please contact:
SALES AND CIRCULATION
SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department
Tigbauan, Iloilo 5021
Philippines
Tel (6333) 511-9172
Fax (6333) 511-8709
Email sales@aqd.safdec.org.ph

———-

SEVENTH ASIAN FISHERIES
FORUM.

30 November – 4 December, Penang, Malaysia: SEVENTH ASIAN FISHERIES FORUM. Organised by the Asian Fisheries Society, this Forum will include symposia, plenary and technical sessions to address the status of Asian fisheries. It will include a technical session on globalisation and the WTO. For further information contact the Forum Secretariat, tel:
+60-4-653-3888 ext.3961;
fax: +60-4-656-5125; e-mail: 7aff2004@usm.my; I
nternet: www.usm.my/7AFF2004

From: “Benjamin Brown”

AQUACULTURE CORNER
U.S. Salmon Network — posted by eatwildfish@aol.com

Bellingham Herald
July 31, 2004
FISH FARM LEGISLATION SPAWNS MORE DANGER FOR WILD SALMON
Occasionally we get imaginary glimpses under the waterline when fish are reported escaping from floating marine prisons. Last month, one million Atlantic salmon fled Chilean farms. Between 1996 and 1999, 613,000 nonnative Atlantics escaped into Puget Sound.
A B.C. farm growing 600,000 Atlantics was in the news recently when ?2,587?
fish busted free.
Reporting the escape of a paltry fish isn’t evidence of better management but tests the gullibility of politicians and public. It might even be laughable except wild salmon are facing extinction in the path of this industrial juggernaut.
Fish farms are on the move and governments are recklessly assisting their escape. B.C. farms are concentrating near Alaska, despite hundreds of Atlantic salmon found invading productive wild salmon waters of the state.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, under the Department of Commerce has developed legislation to place fish farms 3-200 miles offshore.
The Straits of Juan de Fuca is a target zone for development.
The proposed legislation allows for foreign ownership of facilities, weakening of fisheries management protections, streamlined permitting and long-term leases.
Escapees, pathogens and parasites will increase in our waters unless
Congress acts decisively to oppose ?open ocean aquaculture?.

From: eatwildfish@aol.com

———-

More than a million salmon escape from farm pens in Ays?n, Chile

Aysen, Chile. 8 July 2004. (Ecoc?anos News) – The heavy rain and wind that lashed the southern part of Chile during the past week caused many problems within the salmon and trout farming centers. The worst of these occurred in the Acantilado Bay area in the Aysen region where, according to artisanal fishermen, more than a million of these non-native species escaped out to the sea from 22 floating pens in the area .

Various leaders of the artisanal fishers said that the escape happened on Thursday, the first of July. The storm tore holes in the floating pens at two salmon farm sites that were run by a transnational company located 15 kilometers to the north of the city of Aysen.

This new massive escape of salmon is one of the largest of the past few years and will have serious effects on native wild fish of the region. A week after the incident there is still no official information about the exact cause nor if the company is implementing contingency plans to recapture the escaped fish, which is required by the Environmental Regulations for Aquaculture (RAMA).

The president of the Federation of Artisanal Fisherman ?Cofrad,a de Aysen,’ Nelson Matisini, told Ecoc?anos News that ñthis escape of 1 million fish was very irresponsible. These events happen with great frequency and they are very damaging. This non-native species is a predator of native fish species, causing disequilibrium in the food chain. They eat species that we fish, such as pejerreyes, robalos, and sardines.?

The leaders of the Executive Council of Artisanal Fisherman of Aysen said that they will solicit that the authorities inform them about the true magnitude of this disaster and find out if the responsible company has implemented their contingency plans to deal with this catastrophe.

Juan Carlos Cardenas of Ecoc?anos added that ñwhile the companies are protected against losses caused by salmon escapes, there is still no responsible action by this industry to implement investigations, mitigations, and elimination of the negative impacts that the escape of millions of these carnivorous fish have on marine biodiversity, as well as the interests of the coastal communities and the artisanal and sport fishermen of southern Chile.?

The president of the Cooperative of artisanal fisherman of Puerto Aguirre, Honorino Angulo, asserted, ñit has been affirmed that they solicited compensation for the huge losses resulting from the escape of a million salmon.?

ñSince the salmon farms arrived in Aysen, we have seen a reduction in the number of sardines and r—balos, which are species that we use for bait. Now we have to look for these fish very far from our usual fishing grounds and with this new escape, we will have to go out much further,? said Angulo.

The director of fishing, who has been in Valparaiso, the headquarters of the national parliament, for the past few days, informed Ecoc?anos News that he has asked the Senator of Aysen, Antonio Horvath, and the congressman from the same zone, Leopaldo Sanchez, if they would participate in this matter and demand that the authorities hand over all of the information regarding this huge salmon escape.

Yesterday Senator Horvath requested information from the regional office of the National Fisheries Service, where they confirmed the occurrence of this massive salmon escape and attributed responsibility to a transnational company.

The legislator presented a bill yesterday in the senate chamber that asks for more information about the case from the corresponding state officials – Ministry of Economy, Subsecretary of Fisheries, SERNAPESCA, and the Subsecretary of the Navy – in addition to being informed about the causes of the escape and the measures that are being adopted in order to avoid predation of native species by these salmon.

From: “Alejandro Mendez” <amendez@fibertel.com.ar>

Translated by Noya Mu?oz

AROUND THE CORNER

MAP’s News In Iran

I am studying on mangrove forest in south of Iran. Your ACTION NEWS helped me very much
Thank you again.

A . AGHAROKH
From: ali agharokh

Abstract
The interactions between coastal wetland habitats, particularly mangroves, and shrimp aquaculture, have received considerable attention in recent years. The review begins by documenting the status of shrimp aquaculture in relation to mangrove forest ecosystems. The environmental, social and economic impacts of shrimp farming are discussed, with examples covering both the negative and positive aspects of the sector.

The main section of the review considers interventions and other activities to improve the sustainability of shrimp farming in the context of coastal zone management and the protection of mangrove ecosystems. Over the past decade, understanding of the relationship between shrimp farming and the environment have led to various efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of aquaculture on coastal habitats. These include: zoning schemes to confine aquaculture outside wetland conservation areas; changes in farm management practices; introduction of new legislation to protect the environment (e.g. controls on farm effluent discharge); initiation of dialog among shrimp farmers through forums such as farmers societies and associations, and dialogues with non-governmental sectors, increased research and development efforts.

The effectiveness of these interventions is considered here in the light of experience based on case studies. A format for the case studies was prepared at a workshop held in Bangkok, Thailand on 14th-16th February 2000. The expert group invited to the workshop also identified a list of potential case studies for this thematic review and considered how information from each case study should be incorporated into the synthesis. The case study analyses highlight the effectiveness of efforts made, the underlying reasons for successes or failure, their strengths and weaknesses, and identify where research and other further efforts are most required. The 14 case studies used to support this synthesis are provided in a separate Annex. Some of the case studies are based on country level experiences; others are more specific to a particular locality where there is a record of good environmental management related to shrimp farming.

This review document, together with the case studies, attempts to cover the following major questions and issues related to shrimp farming and coastal wetland habitats:

* What are the major interactions between shrimp farming and coastal wetlands? Is it possible to estimate the mangrove habitat damage from the industry/sector in terms of direct and indirect economic loss, employment, social implications, etc.?

* What strategies are being used to rehabilitate both shrimp ponds and coastal wetlands? Which strategies are most compatible/complementary? What are the major issues and what can be learned from these experiences? Is it possible to develop a set of ‘best practice’ guidelines for the rehabilitation of coastal wetlands and shrimp ponds?

* What are the experiences regarding the management of clusters of farms/ponds, to mitigate impacts and ameliorate environmental conditions at the medium scale? In particular, what are the experiences regarding management of water flows/cycles in larger wetland bodies?

* What are the experiences regarding co-existence of shrimp/aquaculture production areas and wetland nature reserves and multiple use conservation parks? What are the links to community management and the sustainable multiple use of resources under such schemes?

* What are the social, economic, and institutional issues to consider? How can pond and wetland habitat rehabilitation efforts be best integrated into coastal area management programmes?

* What farming systems, technologies and management practices should be considered for aquaculture in coastal mangrove and other wetland habitats? How successful have mixed aquaculture-silviculture farming systems been? What lessons can be learned regarding the scope for further interventions to promote the coexistence of shrimp aquaculture and coastal wetlands?

* What are the options for promoting coastal (aquatic) polyculture systems, in combination with mangroves and other coastal wetlands?

* What is known about the biodiversity in areas that have been fully or partially denuded of mangroves, and similar areas where mangroves are still intact?

* Are there any working models demonstrating that coastal aquaculture, especially shrimp farming, can exist within rather than supplanting the mangrove forest area?

* What are the key issues and needs for further development of best practices for shrimp aquaculture development in coastal habitats?

The abstract is also available for download (14.4 KB)

Annexes available for download
* Case studies 1-6 (1.7 MB)
* Case studies 7-13 (2.0 MB).

325 1.41 MB PDF (V 1.3)
www.enaca.org

and a second publication:

Stevenson, N. J., R. R. Lewis and P. R. Burbridge. 1999. Disused shrimp ponds and mangrove rehabilitation. Pages 277-297 in “An International Perspective on Wetland Rehabilitation”, W. J. Streever (Ed.). Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands. 338 pp.

available at my mangrove restoration web site ( www.mangroverestoration.com ) at:

PDF DOCUMENT
Robin

From: LESrrl3@aol.com

The MAP News, 142nd Ed., 23 July 2004

Dear Friends,

This is the 142nd Edition of the Mangrove Action Project News (formerly the Late Friday News).

This newsletter is brought to you for free, but PLEASE help MAP stay in this fight for the future by becoming a donating subscriber today! Contact: mangroveap@olympus.net

Also, Please Donate Your Frequent Flyer Miles To MAP!

Please consider helping MAP meet those demands for our presence at certain conferences and workshops whereby our greatest cost to attend important events is airfare, which often holds us back from
attending important fora where MAP’s presence should be felt.

Please donate your frequent flyer miles to MAP so we can be in the
right place at the right time to present MAP’s needed voice at such fora where too often the grassroots voice for the local communities
and for the mangroves is not heard.

If you wish to donate your frequent flyer miles, please contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net.

Your help in this important matter will be much appreciated!

Salud,

Alfredo Quarto,
Mangrove Action Project

Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.

 

“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand   are taught.” -Baba Dioum, Senegalese ecologist

MAP News Archive
Contents for MAP NEWS, 142nd Edition, 23 July 2004
FEATURE STORY
“Freedom for the Mangroves Day!”–The 26th of July, A Global Call For Action:

MAP WORKS
Emergency Appeal to Rebuild A Center
New Website On Mangrove Restoration Launched
Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop
ENJOYABLE WAYS TO HELP SUPPORT MAP
Work-Study Tour In the Yucatan Mangroves Planned

AFRICA
Nigeria
NGOCE APPLAUDS GOVERNMENT FOR CLOSURE OF WEMPCO WOOD
OPERATIONS IN CROSS RIVER STATE
IN BONNY IT NEVER BECOMES NIGHT ANYMORE

ASIA
S.E. ASIA
Indonesia
NGO COALITION WILL TAKE LEGAL ACTION ON MINING

S. ASIA

Bangladesh
Cry for relief as flood takes a serious turn
Death knell for Sunderbans

Virus attack leaves shrimp industry in the red
Shrimp farmers in dire straits
Introducing seal of quality for shrimp industries
ADB team to review Sundarban biodiversity project
SBCP Watch Group on Revision of SBCP

LATIN AMERICA
Ecuador
Ecuador: Certified shrimps

Colombia
S.O.S. Rio Sinu

Brazil
Degradation revealed by MANGROVE research study
Research shows growth of mangrove areas in the state of Ceara

Guatemala
The Shrimp Farming Industry in Guatemala

Honduras
“The National March for Life”

NORTH AMERICA
USA
US ANTI-DUMPING MEASURES AGAINST
CHINA, VIETNAM
NEW COOPERATIVE STUDY TO EXPLORE EFFORT IN THE GULF OF
MEXICO SHRIMP FISHERY

STORIES/ISSUES
SCIENCE PAPER URGES NEW PARADIGM OF FISHERY MANAGEMENT
When A Fish Was A Fish!

ANNOUNCEMNETS
New News Service By ISCF
Coastal Day For Remembrance Proposed

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS
The Handbook of Philippine Mangroves
“Community Forests. Equity, use and conservation”
The “Gender Agenda”
Coastal Zone Asia Pacific Conference ’04

AQUACULTURE CORNER
Where Salmon Is Sold, Playing the Wild Card
Black cod farming alarms fishermen
Analysis Links Fish Farms, Sea Lice, and Salmon Crash
Salmon escape from Vancouver Island fish farm
Over One Million Salmon Escape From Chilean Salmon Farm

AROUND THE CORNER
India Action Planned For July 26th

FEATURE STORY
Please join us all on July 26, 2004 for the Annual Call On Mangrove Action Day! — Freedom for The Mangroves!

“Freedom for the Mangroves Day!”–The 26th of July, A Global Call For Action:

PLEASE Join Us Wherever You Are For The 26th of July
We are now collecting news about other planned events for the global call for action to “Free the Mangroves!” on July 26th. Please write us to share your own plans for this international day for the mangroves!
A CALL FOR GLOBAL ACTION ON JULY 26th, THE DAY OF THE MANGROVES!: MAP wishes to lend our full support to the plans and actions presented here by FUNDECOL in their recent call for Global Action on July 26th, 2004. We ask that you and/ or your organizations please join us all in a global protest against the ongoing incarceration of the mangrove forest ecosystems and the local communities that depend upon the mangroves for their lives and livelihoods. Please send us your regional or local plans for actions that are meant to commemorate this international Day for the Mangroves! We would like to again share your plans and ideas with our international network. We look forward to hearing from you soon in this regards! (The Editor)
=======

Campaign 26th of July,
Day of the Defense of the Mangroves

“FREEDOM FOR THE MANGROVES”
Kidnapped mangroves by shrimp farms

Partners,

We are about to celebrate once more the 26th of July, Day of the Defense of the Mangrove Ecosystem. As last year, we wish that this day will be commemorated in the international, regional and national levels.

* “Freedom for the Mangroves”

Freedom for the mangroves is a symbolic name that urges to “liberate” the mangroves that are illegally destroyed and suffocated by the dams of the shrimp ponds that forbid the natural exchange of brackish and fresh waters.
Freedom for the mangroves jailed by industrial shrimp infrastructure that bans their normal development and exchange of energy, and finally
Freedom for the areas that have been destroyed and need to be reestablished to their original ecosystem.

Under the slogan “Freedom for the Mangroves”, this year 2004′s campaign that commemorates the 26th of July, is committed to strengthen the local organizational processes and to generate favorable public opinion for the defense and community management of the mangroves. It is also dedicated to the development of alliances with organizations and institutions in the regional and international level to accomplish the mission of recovery, protection and conservation of this very valuable natural resource, especially through the reversion of the illegal and abandoned shrimp ponds to their original mangrove ecosystem.

Actions that will take place

In Ecuador the following activities will take place during the campaign “Freedom for the Mangroves”:

On the 26th of July, a national event will take place in the city of Bahia de Caraquez. A massive demonstration of the traditional users of the mangrove ecosystem of the entire Ecuadorian coast will happen in support to this province, which is the most devastated region of the country because of the effects of the indiscriminate destruction of the mangroves due to the construction of infrastructure for the industrial shrimp aquaculture and other industrial activities such as industrial tourism.

The big celebration during the Day of the Mangroves will gather ancestral users of the mangroves of the entire Ecuadorian coast in Bahia de Caraquez as well as the local and national mass media. During this day, the following activities will take place:

* A national festival for the mangroves with:
o A mangrove forum
o Artistic and cultural presentations from each province
o Stands from the different organizations
o Promotion of the community management of the mangroves

* Reforestation of mangroves in an abandoned shrimp pond located near Bahia de Caraquez. This will count with the community participation of the traditional users of the mangrove ecosystem from the entire Ecuadorian coast and the attendance of the local, regional and national mass media.
During this happening the slogan of this year’s campaign “Freedom for the mangroves” will guide strictly the activities by giving back the life to an incarcerated mangrove forest jailed by the disordered industrial shrimp aquaculture.

In the previous days, in each of the provinces will take place community celebrations that will involve: cultural, artistic and sport activities, local festivals and forums around the mangroves. Moreover, with the community participation and the support of students from schools and universities massive reforestations of mangroves will occur.

At the same time, during the 25th and 30th of July, we will attend the Social Forum of the Americas that will take place in the city of Quito, and we will insert the issue of the mangroves during this event.

We invite you to incorporate to this year’s festival of the 26th of July by proposing activities and actions in the different counties for the “Freeedom of the Mangroves”.

Yours truly,

Lider Gongora F.
President C-Condem
costamanglar@hotmail.com

Executive Secretary Redmanglar
redmanglar@redmanglar.org

======

NIGERIA JOINS CALL TO ACTION ON JULY 26TH!

CHEDRES WOULD LIKE TO MARK THE OCCASION ON JULKY 26TH THROUGH a COURSTESY CALL TO MBO L.GA. CHAIRMAN IN AKWA IBOM ON THE NEED TO SENSITISE HIS PEOPLE TO PROTECT THE MANGROVE
ECOSYSTEM. MBO L.G.A IS ONE OF THE SIX OIL-RICH LOCAL GOVERMENT AREAS OF AKWA IBOM, AND IS VERY RICH WITH
MANGROVES. WE WILL ORGANAZIE AN ENVIRONMENT HEALTH SEMINAR AND A MANGROVE ECOSYSTEM TOUR BY SPEED BOAT

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ISSUES WILL BE COMBINED WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY HEALTH AND WELFARE ISSUES. COMMUNITY DEWORMING SERVICES WILL BE RENDERED TO SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN IN THIS WETLAND L.G.A IN CLOSE COLLABORATION WITH THE HEALTH UNIT OF
THE L.G.A.

Felix Ukam Ngwu -Project Director
Centre for Health works, Development
and Research (CHEDRES)
Calabar, Cross River State Nigeria
chedres@yahoo.co.uk

———-

July 26th Action Planned in Recife, Brazil

We have been working in the school in Recife, Brazil. I have been planning with teachers to do a big project to collect trash in the mangrove reserve in Itamaraca, PE. I am a reseacher, having worked in this reserve about one year. We now have had some problems because the business proprietor there has built a barrier because he doesn’t want the fishermen’s boats near his propriety. So, now the river water has some difficulty to enter the mangrove.

This area was a shirmp farm in the past, and a natural regrowth of plants was before possible there, but with this new barrier it will not grow like before. We want to do a protest because we want this landowner to demolish the barrier.

Thank you for keeping information about mangrove action in the world,
Sincerily,
Lourinalda Silva

From: “Lourinalda Silva” silvalourinalda@hotmail.com

====

From India

Thank you very much for the Mangrove Action Project News of 141st edition!

We shall once again celebrate “Freedom for the Mangroves Day” on July 26 in Pulicat Lake. This time we will gather fisherfolks, NGOs in Kuruvithittu Island in the midst of Pulicat Lake and plant seedlings and celebrate the day with picnic lunch to a large number of lake fisherfolks.

From: “Felix N. Sugirtharaj” arpmds@md3.vsnl.net.in

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Indonesia

Plans to commemorate the Celebration on July 26th are being set in motion early with a training workshop at the recently completed Coastal Communities Resource Center located in Tiwoho village, in N. Sulawesi, Indonesia. The workshop will offer local community members training on developing bamboo as an alternate, sustainable building material for building construction and for a furniture making. The use of bamboo will conserve mangroves by reducing the use of mangrove wood for furniture, posts, building supports and structural materials. In this way the mangroves of the area can be restored to health and the coastal fisheries brought back to a level whereby local fishers can again support their families via their fishing, while supplementing that income with the bamboo enterprise.

Bamboo is an amazing plant that can be harvested between 200 to 500 times per plant, making it highly efficient and basically a renewable resource. And, the bamboo plants for this project are native species to Indonesia, not introduced! Moreover, other nations in Asia and Latin America, and possibly in Africa, contain useable bamboo that once treated to withstand mold and insect attacks can last for 30 years as a structurally sound and economical building material.

From Ben Brown. MAP Indonesia map-indo@dps.centrin.net.id

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Ecuador

Massive Action Planned By Coordinador Nacional for 26th of July

Quito, 23 de Julio de 2004

“LIBERTAD PARA EL MANGLAR

Campaña Nacional e Internacional por el 26 de Julio

Día de la Defensa del Ecosistema Manglar

El día lunes 26 de Julio, alrededor de 1.000 personas, entre usuarios ancestrales del ecosistema manglar de toda la costa ecuatoriana, estudiantes, ambientalistas y personas solidarias con la defensa del manglar, se congregarán en el estuario del Río Chone para celebrar el Día de la Defensa del Ecosistema Manglar.

La campaña que lanza este año la Coordinadora Nacional para la Defensa del Manglar (C-CONDEM), denominada “Libertad para el Manglar busca revertir a su ecosistema original las piscinas camaroneras ilegales y abandonadas a lo largo de toda la costa ecuatoriana.

En la mañana del 26 de Julio tendrá lugar el Foro “Libertad para el Manglar en el cine-teatro Municipal “María Eugenia Loor de Ruperti” en Bahía de Caráquez. Aquí participarán miembros de la C-CONDEM, catedráticos de las universidades de Manabí y autoridades locales y nacionales relacionadas con el tema ambiental.

El acto será presentado por el Alcalde de Bahía de Caráquez, Dr. Leonardo Viteri y su clausura estará a cargo del Alcalde de San Vicente, Dr. Omar Hurtado. Los dos municipios que albergan al estuario del Río Chone serán quienes patrocinen las actividades de esta celebración.

Actos en celebración el ecosistema manglar tendrán lugar en las comunidades usuarias ancestrales del ecosistema de Esmeraldas, Manabí, Guayas y El Oro, durante el fin de semana; en el Tecnológico Ecomundo (Guayaquil) se ha planificado una serie de charlas en conmemoración del día de la defensa de este valioso sistema ecológico para el día lunes. Similares celebraciones tendrán lugar en otros países latinoamericanos, asiáticos y africanos en conmemoración del día de la defensa del manglar.

En el estuario del Río Chone, además, se realizarán tres reforestaciones comunitarias de manglar en Portovelo y Salinas (cantón Sucre) y en Bahía de Caráquez Km. 8. Por la noche el Río Chone se engalanará con una Vigilia por el Estuario que partirá desde la Ciudadela Mangle 2000 en Bahía de Caráquez y arribará al puerto Los Perales en San Vicente. Posteriormente una misa campal, juegos pirotécnicos y un festival artístico cultural podrán fin a la celebración anual por el ecosistema manglar.

Verónica Yépez R., Comunicaciones C-Condem
From: “Coordinadora Nacional para la Defensa del Manglar”
===

Action Planned By Community College on July 26th

Estimados Srs.,
El dia lunes tenemos un evento aqui en nuestro tecnologico Ecomundo (community college, instituto de educacion superior), y quisieramos tener una peque?a carta de saludos de parte de ustedes respaldando a todos que protegen el manglar.
Saludos cordiales,

Patricio Tamariz D.
Director de la Facultad de Turismo y Hoteler,a
y Director de Relaciones Internacionales
del EcoTec Tecnologico Ecomundo

Coordinador Interinstitucional y Relaciones Publicas
Organizacion Nacional de Ecoclubes del Ecuador (ONE)

“Patricio Tamariz/ EcoTec Turismo” ptamariz@ecomundo.edu.ec

Emergency Appeal to Rebuild A Center

Twister stikes the Coastal Community Resource Center at Kuala Indah, North Sumatera – None Injured.

As many readers of the Mangrove Action News may know, MAP, in partnership with the Sumateran NGO’s JALA and P3MN have worked together to carry out two of MAP’s keystone programs in 2004. These programs, the creation of a Coastal Community Resource Center and the hosting of the 10th In the Hands of the Fisherfolks’ Workshop were completed at the end of May 2004.

The illustrated report is currently in the layout stage, and we are sure that readers of the report will agree that the programs were successful in many ways. Indeed the evaluations of both activities by participants show that they highly regarded both programs.
But before you have a chance to see the pictures, and read the proceedings, we have some sad news to report related to the Coastal Community Resource Center.

This center was built in the village of Kuala Indah in order to host the IHOF workshop, and more permanently to be used by the local community for weekly fisherfolk meetings, education and economic programs.

The building was built using local materials, coconut wood, and a Nypah palm thatch roof, in a traditional style raised up on cement and stone piers. The building site was donated by a local landowner and fisherfolk leader, and was situated at the edge of the village, which was once a mangrove forest. The mangrove forest was disturbed a decade back due to the development of shrimp ponds adjacent to the village by a foreign owner. Thus, this selected site is situated next to an artificial set of dike walls and a deep channel which have robbed the mangrove forest of natural tidal influx over the years. Nonetheless high tides do inundate our building site, hence building on top of the cement piers.=

At the IHOF workshop, we began to discuss the concept of restoring some of the original hydrology to the area near the CCRC, with the goal of rehabilitating some of the disturbed mangrove.

But these plans will have to wait. A few weeks ago, North Sumatra experienced 4 days of high winds and storms. The storms were so severe that they kept the villagers of Kuala Indah up through the entire night for all four nights. On the fourth night disaster struck. A twister (perhaps a water spout) was sited along the coast and headed directly for the CCRC. With only the shrimp ponds between the ocean and the Center, there was nothing in the way to deflect the high winds. The roof and posts of the CCRC, attached to the floor and pilings with traditional large wood pins did not withstand the winds, and were uprooted and landed on a neighboring house.

Fortunately no on was injured. The house next door was ruined. Fault is being placed on both the unusually strong winds/water spout and the lack of experience of the architect in fastening the building more securely. At the time, the use of traditional architecture was very much supported by the villagers, the traditional leader even cried during the dedication of the building which brought back memories of the buildings of his youth. But all in all no one is holding the NGO’s or architect directly responsible. The community was aware of the plans to build the CCRC and it was the community who chose the building location and style, and supplied the laborers.

The complex’s foundation/piers, floor, fuel-efficient palm sugar cook-stove, and public restrooms are still perfectly in tact. The community does want to see the CCRC rebuilt. They are excited about the future programs that will be held at the CCRC and the benefit the CCRC is already providing for the community.

But, first things first. The house that was next door to the CCRC needs to be rebuilt. It was a rudimentary house, and the cost involved is not that high. The local community has already donated a substantial amount of labor and materials to fix the house.

Estimates of the total costs of fixing the house and the CCRC are being prepared this week. In the next MAP news we will print these estimates. We feel that $1000 for each building, or about $2000 total will be sufficient to fix the house and redesign and build the CCRC, employing an engineer to recalculate stress/load etc. We will use steel bolts and braces for the new CCRC, and a lower roof design, and also attempt to plant some fast growing bamboo species and other trees on the dike walls opposite the CCRC as a wind break.

We are asking our readership for donations to rebuild the village house and the CCRC. $20 here and there, and some large donations should cover it.

From the U.S. these checks can be mailed to:

MAP
PO Box 1854
Port Angeles, WA 98362-0279, USA

Or, use your credit card as follows:

Please provide the following information:

Your Name___________ ________________
Address ________________________________
________________________________
_____________________________
Credit Card Number ______________________
Expiration Date _______________
You Have a Visa Card___, or a Master Card___

(Note: We can only use Visa or Master credit cards for such transactions)
Note: Please send this credit card information directly to our MAP office at P.O. Box 1854, Port Angeles, WA 98362-0279 USA

–Another option is to send a bank money order, which is less expensive than wiring the money direct. Please indicate that your donation is earmarked for the Mangrove Action Project. We suggest a $15 student membership, $25.-$50 individual membership, and $50-$100 organizational membership. MAP has tax-exempt status, as well!

From: “Benjamin Brown”

———-

New Website On Mangrove Restoration Launched

Robin Lewis would like to announce the opening of the web page www.mangroverestoration.com and the availability of the paper:

Stevenson, N. J., R. R. Lewis and P. R. Burbridge. 1999. Disused shrimp ponds and mangrove rehabilitation. Pages 277-297 in “An International Perspective on Wetland Rehabilitation”, W. J. Streever (Ed.). Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands. 338 pp.

at:MANGROVE RESTORATION

Hard copies may be reqested from: SherryCapaz@aol.com

———-

ANNOUNCEMENT: Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop

The third “Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop will be held at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, in Hollywood, Florida, USA, 21-24 February 2005. The training site is within a 500 ha mangrove restoration project at West Lake Park operated by Broward County. The award-winning project was designed by Roy R. “Robin” Lewis III, who will be teaching the course.

The workshop includes an introduction to mangrove forest ecology, management options and problems, and restoration design issues. The class programs are all given in a PowerPoint format, and each student is provided with a print out of the presentation and additional handouts including monitoring reports for typical restoration projects. Case studies of 5 successful mangrove restoration projects, and several unsuccessful projects, are discussed. Field trips are taken within the 500 ha West Lake Park mangrove restoration project (now 16 years old) and a new project just two years old, for a comparison.

The emphasis is on cost-effective successful mangrove management and restoration, and cost figures for typical projects are discussed and explained. The hydrologic restoration of mangroves is emphasized as the best approach to successful restoration at minimal cost (see Erftemeijer and Lewis 2000, Lewis 1999, 2000a, 2000b, Lewis and Marshall 1998, Lewis and Streever 2000, Stevenson et. al 1999, and Turner and Lewis 1997, for further discussion about hydrologic restoration of mangroves). Planting of mangroves is discussed in light of the many failures of this alone to successfully restore mangroves.

Cost for the course not including travel to Ft. Lauderdale, lodging or food is $650, due by January 1, 2005. Two qualified students will be allowed to attend for free. This course is taught in conjunction with the Mangrove Action Project.

More information can be provided by Sherry Capaz at
and www.mangroverestoration.com.

From: LESrrl3@aol.com

=====
ENJOYABLE WAYS TO HELP SUPPORT MAP

MAP’s Art Gallery Website

Visit the Website of Chilean artist Monica Gutierrez-Quarto to view her gallery café of beautiful prints and paintings.

“I’m happy to introduce my gallery web site. www.gutierrez-Quartogallery.com
Please pass on to others to help increase the visibility A percentage of all sales generated via my website will go towards supporting the good work of Mangrove Action Project.”

For More Information, Please Contact: “monica gutierrez-quarto”

———-

Please Donate Your Frequent Flyer Miles To MAP!

Please consider helping MAP meet those demands for our presence at certain conferences and workshops whereby our greatest cost to attend important events is airfare, which often holds us back from attending important fora where MAP’s presence should be felt.

Please donate your frequent flyer miles to MAP so we can be in the right place at the right time to present MAP’s needed voice at such fora where too often the grassroots voice for the local communities and for the mangroves is not heard.

If you wish to donate your frequent flyer miles, please contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net.

Your help in this important matter will be much appreciated!

———-

Take A Coffee Break For the Mangroves!

Mangrove Action Project
and Grounds for Change

Help support the Mangrove Action Project through the purchase of Grounds for Change triple-certified coffee! Grounds for Change will donate 10% of purchase price to the Mangrove Action Project each time you make a purchase at the Grounds for Change web site. It’s a great way to support socially and environmentally-conscious coffee and healthy mangrove forests across the globe.

You can participate in one of two ways:

1. Visit the Mangrove Action Project web site and click on the DONATE TO MAP THROUGH YOUR NEXT CUP OF COFFEE link.

Or, Click on
2. www.groundsforchange.com/partners/MAP/

You will then be directed to the Grounds for Change web site.

Grounds for Change sells only Fair Trade, Organic, Shade-Grown coffee which is roasted by hand, to-order at their family owned facility on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. Grounds for Change is a member of TransFair USA, the Songbird Foundation and the Fair Trade Federation. Grounds for Change further supports fair trade economics by donating 1% of profits to the Fair Trade Federation.

Please note that in order for the 10% donation to be made to MAP, supporters must follow one of the two options outlined above.

From mangroveap@olympus.net

———-

Work-Study Tour In the Yucatan Mangroves Planned

MAP Volunteer Work Study/Eco-Tour for Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Oct. 1-10, 2004

A mangrove-restoration and sea turtle conservation project on the Caribbean coast of Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico is being planned for Oct. 1-10, 2004. Depending upon interest and numbers of volunteers, this tour will help restore degraded mangroves and help rescue or care for threatened baby sea turtles, as well as explore the unique cenote and extensive reef ecosystems of the region, as well as visit the nearby Mayan ruins and beautiful beaches. Please join MAP and local volunteers from the surrounding communities in undertaking important beach cleanup and restoration work in paradise setting now threatened by short-sighted development. And, please join us at a three day workshop that deals with important and timely ecological and social justice issues.

MAP will be co-sponsoring this tour with the local NGO, SAVE, in Mexico. At least 10 volunteers are needed to firm up plans for this tour.

For more information, please contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net

———-

John Gray Sea Canoe Eco-Tours
MAP voted “Best of the Best”

MAP encourages anyone who wishes to sea kayak in Thailand to use environmentally responsible guides, and supports JGSC as the best of the best. we are being offered a 20% contribution. the customer booking a tour must indicate that they saw the ad on MAP’s website in order for MAP to receive a commission from “JOHN GRAY’S SEACANOE”.

John Gray’s SeaCanoe delivers high-quality tropical eco-tourism adventures guaranteed to expand your awareness. Lifelong waterman, wildlife rehabber and environmentalist John “Caveman” Gray started tropical kayaking in 1983, bringing ancient Hawaiian natural harmony to modern times. Lava sea caves highlighted Gray’s Hawai’i trips, and the 1985 “Moloka’i’s Forgotten Frontier” documentary won an Emmy, the first of many Awards. In 1999, National Geographic Adventure named Caveman’s SeaCanoe Vietnam itineraries a World Top 25 Adventure.
Phuket Weather
Apr 09, 2003 – 14:50 GMT
partly cloudy 32°C
Humid.: 70 %
(c) asianhotelsdirect

Spreading the seeds of conservation to South-East Asia, Gray explored Phang Nga’s limestone islands in January 1989. Caveman shared his discoveries with Phuket Thai’s, created an experimental Ecotourism laboratory called SeaCanoeT and Phuket’s “Low Volume, High Quality” legend was born. Today, 1,000s visit Phang Nga caves daily with so many “SeaCanoe” companies that Caveman formed John Gray’s Sea CanoeT to clear market confusion. John hates the name, but it’s obvious where Caveman’s creative Labor of Love brings Magic to just a few.

Every trip is your own documentary combining kayaking, nature, culture, great food and re-creation. The new
“Hongs by Starlight” trip avoids daytime crowds and amplifies the serenity of early years. “The Nature Game”T is an exciting new Ecotourism concept enhancing your perspectives, adding trip value, offering new personal insights and highlighting our guides’ English, training and experience.

For More Details: John Gray Sea Canoe Eco-Tours
MAP voted “Best of the Best”

Thailand’s government promotes shrimp farming, seriously threatening mangroves. Combined with over-fishing and unplanned tourism, many marine ecosystems are in crisis. Thailand and MAP need all the help they can get, so John Gray’s SeaCanoe celebrates 20 years of “Natural History by Sea Kayak” by donating 20% of your JGSC booking to MAP.

Expect real adventure. Started in Hawai’i in (1983) and Thailand (1989), John’s concept received immediate recognition. “Moloka’i’s Forgotten Frontier” won 1985 EMMY and TEDDY awards as best environmental production. Travel Channel ran his 1988-89 “Inside Hawai’i” shows three times. In Asia, exotic sea kayaking includes limestone tidal sea caves with cliff-lined lagoons behind them, and Gray invented the Tidal Technology to enter these ecosystems – see it on “Globetrekker”, “Passport to Adventure” and Canada’s “Beyond Borders”. Gray’s Ecotourism demonstration project won six environmental awards with trips receiving regular National Geographic “World’s Best” mentions.

In January a MAP group tried a Phang Nga trip and the creative sparks flew. JGSC guides gained significant and ongoing mangrove knowledge, and this fundraising concept was born. If you seek an exotic and unique adventure, contact info@johngray-seacanoe.com . Make your 20% donation directly to MAP and JGSC credits the contribution to your Tropical Kayaking adventure.

From: “John Gray’s SeaCanoe”

AFRICA
Nigeria

NGOCE APPLAUDS GOVERNMENT FOR CLOSURE OF WEMPCO WOOD
OPERATIONS IN CROSS RIVER STATE

***For Immediate Release *** July 9, 2004

Calabar – Non-Governmental Coalition for the Environment (NGOCE), Calabar,
Has applauded MR Donald Duke ,the Governor of Cross River State for approving the immediate closure of WEMPCO WOOD Company and its operation in Cross River State.
WEMPCO a gigantic Asian Company, which started prospecting for wood in the State since 1992 has continued to operate in a most unsuitable manner and flagrant contravention of extant environmental laws.
Some of the abuses perpetrated by the company include by not limited to:
> Refusal to conduct a comprehensive EIA in all its forest concession
> Refusal to log from its concession area > Habitual patronage of illegal loggers
> Exportation of unprocessed wood materials, including
round logs
> Acceptance of logs clandestinely into its factory, despite current ban on movement of logs in the State
> Total failure to adopt environmentally sustainable
forest management techniques
> Racial treatment and abuse of indigenous staff working in the factory Acting Executive Director of NGOCE, Chief Bassey Archibong, congratulating the State Governor, explains that, the Government seems poised to fully maximize her eco tourism potentials, because ?Eco Tourism can not thrive side by side with large scale logging of the forest which provides the framework for such tourism.

He also congratulated the Cross River State Forestry Commission for her commitment to build a new image and engender public confidence in their operations. He however admonish the commission to carry this process forward by tackling other Wood Companies that hid under WEMPCOís canopy and looking inward to punish severely ,erring staff who collude with illegal loggers to perpetrated ?sharp practices? within their areas of operation.

NGOCE as a coalition of NGOs in Cross River State ,thanks all the groups both local and international
that share a common concern for the rainforest and have advocated for its protection. It is not yet
over,the time is now, to be positioned for networking with groups and relevant Government agencies towards
sustainable management of the last remaining rainforest in Nigeria, The Cross River Rainforest

For further information please contact Bassey
Archibong, Executive Director, NGOCE at 087 776934 or
ngocenvironment@yahoo.com.
ngocenigeria@yahoo.com
www.ngocenigeria.org

From Non Governmental Organisation Coalition for Environment (NGOCE) ngocenigeria@yahoo.com

———-

This is an article published in the Dutch newspaper NRC on the Shell Liquefied Gas project, where also the Dutch credit guarantee agency (called NCM) is involved, as is US Exim, ECGD and Sace.

IN BONNY IT NEVER BECOMES NIGHT ANYMORE
Gas factory brings pollution instead of prosperity to the Nigeria delta.

In: NRC-Handelsblad, Tuesday 13 July 2004 (Dutch Newspaper)
Translation by Both ENDS

In the middle of the nineties the Nigerian island of Bonny still welcomed the arrival of a plant for liquefied gas. But this gas brought nothing but pollution and broken promises to the population. Now they feel like strangers in their own kingdom.

By: DICK WITTENBERG

“Prosperity will bless Bonny”. “God had us in mind”. These were the first words of dr. Hilkiah Igoni when, in the middle of the nineties, he heard that the biggest private investment in Africa would take place in the kingdom of Bonny. The investment would be an industrial complex for liquefied gas, managed by Shell.

Dr. Igoni is one of the notable men of this island situated in the Niger Delta at a distance of 30 km south of the Nigerian oil town of Port Harcourt. He is dressed like a real Bonny man: ‘jumpa’, bowler hat, walking stick with shining knob, a gold coloured chain on his chest. He is carrying the honourary title ‘warisenibo’, because of his contributions to the community.

“My God”, he says now. He is shaking his head. “How wrong I was”.

One after the other delegation is crying out its grievances before him: two women groups, two unions of fishermen, the local government, an organization of young unemployed academics, social organisations. They present themselves at full strength. Together they are a choir that is lamenting the apparent
blessing that turned out to be a curse. They complain about impoverishment and oppression, one long litany of falsified expectations and broken promises. Bonny isn’t Bonny anymore.

The fishing village of Siokolo bleakly contrasts with the storage tankers for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), of which it is only seperated by a creek. The persistent drone of a drum summons the men to the shabby community hall, although the sound almost drowns in the beat of tropical rains on the corrugated iron roof. “In the early days one just had to throw out nets and the fishes would flow in”. The village head, chief Ajalamoniagha Brown,
tells his story in the local Ijaw language. “Nowadays it will take sometimes 3 or 4 days before the boat is filled with fish”. In many creeks the fis disappeared due to pollution. The shellfish called ‘periwinkle’, the oysters, are not found anymore. The coastal waters near the industrial complexes are declared forbidden area for security reasons. We are expelled to the open sea”.

Chief Brown scratches his belly in long movements. “It is more and more hard for us to compete with the imported frozen fish. They say that our fish smells of kerosine. More and more households do not have cassava anymore with their fish stew in the evening. They convert their boat for passenger transport services between the main land and the island. Or they sell firewood, or they fill sacks with sand. Never the government or the companies did anything for us”.

Chief Brown makes a tour through the village that is constructed of refuse wood. No school, no electricity, no water. Everywhere plastic tubs and buckets are placed to collect rainwater. The bottom is covered with blackish sediment. Twice we encounter an armed police patrol. The security of the industries has to be safeguarded.

The chemical complex of NLNG (Nigeria Liquid Natural Gas), built at the initiative of Shell with an interest of 25.6 %, and co-financed by the Dutch export credit agency Gerling NCM, could have been a model project. Financially and technically it actually is a model project. The general director of NLNG, Andrew Jamieson, talks about the “fastest growing liquid gas project in history”. The installation that started operations in 1999 has to produce 22 million tons of gas per year in two or three year’s time. By then an amount of US$ 11 – 12 billion will have been invested in the project.

NLNG can be proud too of its impacts on the national economy and the global environment. The company helps to utilize the enormous Nigerian gas reserves, which remained unused until recently and exceed the oil reserves by far. It also contributes to fight the greenhouse effect.

The swamp areas of the oil-rich Niger Delta are still infested with fiery flares that burn the unwanted gas that emerges as a by-product of the oil exploitation. The flaring continues for 24 houres a day at a temperature of 13.000 Celsius. In many communities the night never comes and the rainfall is always acid. These torches are the biggest single source of CO-2 emissions in the world, and hence responsible for the degradation of the ozone layer. One fifth of all the gas burnt into the atmosphere is accounted for by Nigeria. Before the end of 2010 this has to stop, also due to NLNG. “Useless” gas is processed into fuel.

The wholesome impact of the company is not noticeable at the hosting island. Five centuries ago Bonny was contacted for the first time by the outside world because of the arrival the Portugese. Starting from this mud clod in the Atlantic Ocean the lower part of Nigeria was converted to Christianity. Until today the island – covering 450 km2 – kept its traditional structure. With a king (Edward Asimi William Dappa Pepple III Perekule XI, ‘amanyabo’
of Greater Bonny), and chiefs that are leaders of family clans, called
“Houses”. Seventy percent of the estimated 70.000 indigenous inhabitants are depending of old upon fisheries.

Numerous creeks and small rivers cut through this archipelago of swamps and tropical rainforests. Mangrove trees, whose roots stand in the heavy mud like huge legs of spiders, dependent on ebb and flow, fence off the embankments.

The serene Bonny feels overwhelmed by the arrival of NLNG. No one prepared the population for the invasion of adventurers from other parts of the country hunting for work or trade related to the construction of the installations. Forty-, fifty-, sixty thousand, no one knows how many people arrived. Day labourers have built provisional villages close to the futuristic NLNG-complex, carrying names like Monkey Village or Mango Village. Resorts for real man where prostitution is flourishing and liquor abundantly flows.

Indigenous inhabitants consider themselves strangers in their own kingdom. Water supply, education and healthcare, the feeble social services have collapsed because of the influx. The means of subsistence, the culture and the environment experience severe stress. The numerous security forces that came to the island in the wake of NLNG, create an atmosphere of repression and intimidation. The mobile police units are known as ‘kill-and-go’.

“We are occupied territory”, says dr. T Allison, chairman of the committee that is ordained by the king to develop the island, the Bonny Kingdom Development Committee. “We are powerless”.

This is contrary to agreements. In all official documents the company promised support for the population, protection of the environment and extensive consultations. Even in June 2000 general director Jamieson signed an agreement that provided for the construction of a road and the supply of water and electricity to the two towns of the island, Bonny-Town and New Finima. To be delivered before 2003.

The electricity supply is slowly emerging. However, the construction
activities for the road have halted. The water supply still has to be waited for. In the meantime trucks move around to deliver water. Irregularly and too little, according to the inhabitants. On top of that, the water is murky and it smells.

This is not the purified water that splashes from the taps in the special village for the thousands of NLNG-employees, according to the few notable men that visited that place. In the NLNG-village, behind high fences and barbed wire, there is never any shortage of electricity. They have their own shopping complex, swimming pool, and golf club. “Little London” this enclave of abundance is called in Bonny.

Shell’s company magazine Shell Venster wrote in April about the 90 million naira, about half a million Euro, that NLNG injected in the economy of the island via the construction activities, and about the thousands of jobs for the local population. But the lion’s share of the money is ending up with the contractors and suppliers from outside Bonny, according to the indigenous people. The outsiders also divide the jobs. The original population of Bonny is neglected.

A rowing boat with an outboard engine takes nearly half an hour from Bonny-Town to the hamlet of Oputunbie. The trip passes along mangrove graveyards; the wood is sallow of death. Environmental reports confirm that the deforestation of the island accelerated substantially since the arrival of NLNG.

Oputunbie is a remote place where the local company SIA Resources dumps industrial waste of NLNG at night. Day labourers at the spot who burn the piles of waste and flatten them tell this. They work without gloves or masks. The water of the creeks is licking the edges of the dump.

This illegal dump was already disclosed some years ago by the Mangrove Forest Conservation Society of Nigeria (MFCSN), a local organisation, without a computer, without a car, operating with the commitment and voluntary contributions of an administrator of a hospital, a reverend and the other board members. They receive limited financial support of the Dutch environmental organisation Both ENDS.

After that disclosure, the secretary of the organisation, reverend Ibawari Hector Pepple, reports having received death threats. The edition of the regional newspaper ‘The Tide’, that carried an article on the illegal dump, was completely bought up. By NLNG, according to the reverend.

According to the president of the MFCSN, Akie Hart, these actions are not just incidents. He tells about dumpings of toxic waste in the rainforest of Bonny by the construction group TSKJ, the principal construction contractor of NLNG. TSKJ admitted those dumpings, but added that the state government had agreed. The mangrove conservationists then started a court case against the construction group. Hart complains that for several times already he had
to look for a new lawyer, because lawyers were ‘bought out’. He said that NLNG also made a lucrative ‘offer for a contract’ to his organisation.

The magazine Shell Venster wrote in April cheeringly that NLNG not only respects Nigerian environmental laws in Bonny, but also conforms to international norms. No second rate treatment for Nigeria. International creditors like the Dutch Gerling NCM demand that, next to the likely environmental impacts, also the social impacts are taken stock of, and diminished or compensated. But, according to Hart, these are empty guarantees as long as the control on compliance is taken care of by a regional environmental department that depends for its transport on NLNG and
receives a brown envelope after each inspection. NLNG started the last two expansions while the Nigerian ministry of environment still did not yet issue permission, says Hart.

Environmental Resources Management, a British firm that was hired by creditors to review the latest expansion of NLNG, warns in an interim report for serious risks. The firm writes that NLNG underestimates the scale of deforestation and damage to nature. If nothing is done about this, the fishing grounds upon which most indigenous people depend are in jeopardy. If also the last expansion of NLNG in a couple of years will be finished, there will be no work anymore for very many people and pauperisation is due.

In the interim report the British firm writes that NLNG is doing far too little to socially support the population, despite self-help projects and a micro-credit programme, who by the way are ridiculed by the local population. NLNG should not have the illusion, according to Environmental Resources Management, that it “adequately manages the social risks of the project”. The final report has not been disclosed to the public.

So far protests on Bonny always have been peaceful. But the patience will be exhausted, says Kalade Jene, leader of the most radical Bonny Indigenous Guide. “The dialogue cannot last for ever”. His organistion was the first to choose for confrontation by occupying an oil collection station.

The idyllic Bonny could follow the same path as the east of the Niger Delta, where violent incidents are daily routine and the oil companies operate in a war zone, says Akie Hart of the Mangrove Society. “Unless NLNG tackles environmental management and social support just as firmly as the expansion of this mega-project.”

Hart’s talk is easy, according to Andrew Jamieson, general director of NLNG. The erection of an industrial complex for liquid gas on Bonny is far easie than the support of the population with water, electricity and a new road. “Not because of lack of willingness of NLNG. Yes, such an industrial settlement in a small community of course always has far reaching effects. One cannot take away all negative side effects. But I think that, considering everything, the population in the long run will benefit”.

About the illegal waste dumpings, says Jamieson, he never has heard of it. And that environmental damage and social tragedy can be a threat to the project, he is fully aware. “That is why we are determined to do it right”.

The population of Bonny still has to see it with its own eyes.

From: Martien Hoogland

ASIA
S.E. ASIA
Indonesia

16 July 2004 – Press Release – NGO Coalition against mining in protected areas

NGO COALITION WILL TAKE LEGAL ACTION ON PARLIAMENT,S ENDORSEMENT OF GOVT DECREE NO/1/2004

Jakarta – - The NGO Coalition against mining in protected areas will take legal action after Parliament yesterday endorsed the Government decree to amend a law (Perpu) No. 1/2004.

The parliamentary endorsement of the Perpu decree was not unexpected given the degree of political intrigue around the substance and process of issuance of the decree. Up until the day before yesterday,s endorsement, the working committee and special committee which were established to assess the Perpu decree were deadlocked, unable to reach a unanimous decision to endorse or reject the perpu. The uncertainty of parliamentarians when asked to make a decision raised big questions and suspicions of hidden motives. This despite the fact that various people, including numerous experts in national and international law gave evidence to the parliamentary committees that there was no need to fear international arbitration before the Perpu amendment. Legal expert Todung Mulya Lubis gave evidence during parliamentary committee hearings that it was not the ban on open-pit mining in protected forests, but actually the Perpu decree and the subsequent Presidential decree which opened the door not only to international arbitration threats, but to the possibility of the Indonesian government being accused via World Trade Organisation of discrimination against certain foreign companies operating in Indonesia.

“The threat of international arbitration must not become a spectre instilling fear in parliament over the ban on open-pit mining in protected forests. The Indonesian government should follow the example of the Costa Rican government which had the courage to face off the threat of international arbitration by foreign companies, for the sake of protecting forests and thus defending the interests of the community and environment, insisted Longgena Ginting, National Executive Director of the Indonesian Forum for the Environment, WALHI.

“The endorsement of this Perpu is a bad precedent for the shape of legal reform in Indonesia. The vehicle of perpu decrees can be easily misused by the President to legalise policies which only benefit a few and for momentary political expediency, said Indro Sugianto, Executive Director of the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law.

Presidential Decree No.42/2004 which flowed from Perpu No.1/2004 has provided political justification for 13 mining companies to operate in protected forests. This is the point of entry for a process of destruction in the days to come. Inevitably, the other 145 mining companies which were not named in the presidential decree won,t remain silent. They will demand the same dispensation from the government. This spells disaster for 11.5 million hectares of protected areas claimed as mining concessions.

Conflict and ecological destruction will be ongoing at the mining sites newly licensed by the government. And this will worsen suffering for local communities whose livelihoods depend on forests, concluded Siti Maimunah, National Coordinator of the Indonesian Mining Advocacy Network, JATAM.

To restore Indonesian legal standards, the NGO Coalition will take legal action relating to the Perpu decree. This legal action will not be restricted to the Perpu, but will extend to legal action regarding PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals (owned by Newcrest Mining of Australia) which commenced open-pit mining in the Toguraci Protected Forest, after the 1999 Forestry Law ban but well before the Perpu decree and presidential decree. PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals clearly broke the law, especially clause 38(4) of Forestry Law No.41/1999 which explicitly prohibits open-pit mining in protected forests.

The NGO Coalition also calls on all levels of the community, both at the mining sites and in the wider public which will experience the impacts of environment disasters resulting from forest destruction, to closely examine the policies which have recently been taken by this government and which have the potential for great losses for the community. [end - IO]

Contact persons:
Longgena Ginting, WALHI: + 62 811 927 038
Indro Sugianto, ICEL: +62 815 943 4228
Siti Maimunah, JATAM: +62 911 920 462

NGO Coalition against mining in protected areas:
WALHI, JATAM, WWF Indonesia, Yayasan Pelangi, Greenomics Indonesia, Yayasan Kehati, Pokja Pembaruan Agraria dan Pengelolaan Suberdaya Alam, Forest Watch Indonesia (FWI) Tim Advokasi Tambang Rakyat (TATR), ICEL, Jaring Pela, Mineral Policy Institute (MPI)

JATAM (Jaringan Advokasi Tambang)
Mining Advocacy Network
E-mail: jatam@jatam.org

From: Tracy Glynn

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S. ASIA

Bangladesh

Cry for relief as flood takes a serious turn

NewAge, July 23, 2004. Dhaka, Bangladesh www.newagebd.com

As the flood situation has taken a serious turn, the worst-hit section of the poor people, especially the helpless women, children and the elderly, have been exposed to scarcity of food and medicine, reports from different affected districts say.

Relief distribution has been meagre and concentrated mainly in the urban areas, while victims trapped in many of the flooded remote areas have been without any help.
Floodwater submerged more areas in the capital city, including some of the posh residential areas.
Till Thursday, the government allocated 22,000 tonnes of rice and Tk 2.7 crore as grant and relief for the 12 million flood-hit people in 41 districts.
Reports from almost all flood-affected districts have it that the district and upazila administrations so far distributed relief in the flood shelters only located in the urban and easily accessible areas, ignoring the remote ones.
District correspondents of New Age also said that the quantity of relief so far distributed was very negligible compared to actual requirement, making relief operations difficult. Local administrations in some areas had to deploy various law enforcing agencies to control the crowd.

After a first hand survey, an employee of ActionAid, an NGO, recently told BBC that 8,000 families were stranded on an embankment in Kurigam. ?They have been marooned for over a week and have not had any fresh supplies since 11 July.?
Despite lesser monsoon rains and recession in the upstream part of the north-eastern region, gushing waters and rise in the water level of the river Brahmaputra worsened the overall flood situation, particularly in central districts.
After days of incessant rains, the appearance of sunshine gave a little relief to thousands of people in 41 flood-hit districts but suspension of road, railway and other communication links, continued erosion and inundation of fresh areas rendered more people homeless or marooned….

From: zakir kibria

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Virus attack leaves shrimp industry in the red

NewAge, July 23, 2004. Dhaka, Bangladesh. www.newagebd.com

Introduction of modern technology and scientific management replacing the existing traditional methods could save the countryís shrimp industry from ruination as the second largest foreign exchange earning sector is facing worst-ever crisis due to the outbreak of a deadly viral disease, say experts.
Shrimp farmers this year have suffered a massive financial loss due to the spread of ?white spotí disease that swept the shrimp farms concentrated in Khulna and Coxís Bazaar regions.
Nearly 37,400 shrimp farms, which generate $ 301 million annually from the brackish water shrimp, bagda and sweet water prawn, golda, are struck by the virus, decimating around 800 nurseries completely.
The outbreak also hit over 6,000 shrimp farmers only in Bagerhat, causing a severe economic impact on the industry as a whole and the sector is near to collapse, both experts and farmers observe. They said temperature and heavy rainfall increased the severity of the disease.
Over six lakh people are directly or indirectly involved in the industry that shares about three per cent of the global shrimp production. Bangladeshís shrimp is highly praised in the international market for its original texture and delicious taste.
But many farmers in Bagerhat, Satkhira, Khulna and Coxís Bazaar have been shattered since their traditional farms were first attacked in 1995 by the virus, believed to make its way with the imported shrimp fry from Thailand. Many have already gone bankrupt while many others were limping with their traditionalbusiness.
Experts say crisis lies with the collection of brood stock (mother shrimp) by shrimp hatcheries from the deep sea and stocking in the brood pond for hatching.During breeding season, brood stock releases eggs that become ?post larvaeí (PL) within few days. Proper management required in this stage to prevent virus is absent in Bangladesh.
They said countries like Thailand and India also collect brood from the same part of the Bay of Bengal. But they fight the virus applying proper hatchery management techniques and practices…..
“Only disease-free PL and controlled shrimp cultivation would increase shrimp exports from $ 300 million to $ 1.5 billion by 2008 as envisaged by Prime Minister Khaleda Zia recently,” said USAID official, Mac Hover, addressing a function at Rampal on Wednesday.
Many farmers said that they understand that most of the PL they buy are virusaffected, but expressed deep frustration as there was no mechanism for testing. ?A single affected larvae is enough to destroy all the farms,? said Raunakul Islam, a shrimp farmer.
The shrimp promoters and farmers feel that the government should now address the crisis and take measures to save the industry from further losses. They called upon the government to set up a laboratory in Khulna region to carry out research and testing to check future outbreaks of the virus.
If the authorities fail to respond quickly to the crisis, the highly prospective industry that fetched $ 278 million in export earning in 2002, would break down anytime, they fear.

From: zakir kibria banglapraxis@yahoo.com

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Death knell for Sunderbans

There are many examples of manís ability to destroy Nature. SUBRATA SINHA comes up with the latest, a splendid tourism project, sure to wipe out one of the worldís best known mangrove forests.

DECCAN HERALD

The Roys of Sahara Parivar have decided to ?developí the Sundarbans in the State from which they originally hailed. Unfortunately, without having any idea about the multi-faceted natural functions of the Sundarbans, they are treading into a sphere, where devils dare but angels fear to tread. The desire of these good samaritans has received enthusiastic support from West Bengalís ?marxistí environment minister. Evidently, he has forgotten the edicts of Dilactics of Nature in which Fredric Engels unambiguously restricts the role of man against Nature!

The Sundarban delta shared by India and Bangladesh, is the largest in the world. The massive Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna river system with the highest global sediment loads flow through it into the Bay of Bengal. Intense population pressure and socio-economic problems have already destroyed large chunks of the Bangladesh sector of the invaluable Sundarban mangrove forests. Fortunately, these are yet significantly untampered in the Indian portion – thanks to efforts and lifestyle of the local communities. These mangrove forests – one of the last virgin frontiers of nature – are still successfully buffering the fury of tropical storms in Gangetic West Bengal….

From: zakir kibria banglapraxis@yahoo.com

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Shrimp farmers in dire straits

NewAge, July 12, 2004. Dhaka, Bangladesh www.newagebd.com

The shrimp farmers of the southern part of the country are facing problems as shrimp ponds are contaminated and riddled with diseases starkly threatening the production of standard shrimp.
Experts said virus attack, unplanned maintenance, lack of knowledge and use of chemical fertilizers are causing widespread contagion among cultured shrimps.

Different shrimp farmers of Bagerhat said that they were in debt with banks, creditors, relatives and friends. But, as they failed to make profits from the shrimp ponds, the farmers feared that they would accrue larger debts. Some farmers said that they were now being pressured by the creditors to pay back. Informed sources said af the epidemic hit at the beginning of the season, the loss in shrimp production was very high. The poor people around the ponds, also dependent on them, are passing their days without work. The farmers said as the shrimp harvest was good last year, the farmers were encouraged to set up shrimp enclosures by investing more money.

According to sources, around two thousand small and big shrimp enclosures in different beels (marshy land) were affected by epidemics in Bagerhat. Enclosures of at least 30 beels of Mongla, Morelganj, Rampal and Kachua upazila were affected. The farmers of Duttakhali beel in Bagerhat sadar said, among 87 small enclosures of the beel, 76 were affected and all the shrimp and other fish died.

The farmers of Kapalibandar beel in Bagerhat sadar said all 24 enclosures were affected. The sources said, ?When one enclosure is affected, the others around it become catch the contagion soon.?
Md Idris Ali, a shrimp farmer of Duttakati beel told New Age that the epidemic broke his heart. He has lost all his money, he added.

Speaking to New Age, Ansar Member, a shrimp farmer of Kapalibandar beel said he invested at least Tk 1.5 lakh and hardly got Tk 500. Dr Nityananda Das, the district fisheries officer of Bagerhat told New Age that insufficient water in the enclosures, sudden decrease of salinity, natural stress and heavy rains had worsened the problem.

From: zakir kibria

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Introducing seal of quality for shrimp industries
M. H. Bari

THE DAILY STAR

Our export performance in shrimp industries is indeed highly appreciable. In 1973, there were only 15 shrimp industries and the export earnings were $3.17 million. But the country earns $297 million in 2002- 2003 financial year exporting shrimp though having severe price fluctuation in the international market. Despite its spectacular growth and bright prospect our shrimps industry is saddled with various hurdles. As such it could not attain its expected level of growth.

Due to detection of some bacterial attack in our exported shrimp, the European Union imposed ban on import of frozen shrimp and fish from Bangladesh in July 1997 and advised the Bangladesh government to implement HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) system in shrimp industries for hygienically safe production of frozen food. For implementation of the system by the shrimp industry the government along with the BFFEA (Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association) obtained experts’ services from the USFDA, EU, FAO/ WHO, SGS and others sources. The government promulgated Fish and Fish Products (Inspection and Quality Control) Rules in December 1997 to implement the programme.

The EU experts visited Bangladesh to inspect the arrangement made by Bangladesh. The experts were satisfied by the government/BFFEA efforts in this respect and the EU ban on import of frozen fish from Bangladesh was lifted in 1998. Now 51 shrimp industries of Bangladesh hold HACCP approval from the EU. After introducing HACCP system in shrimp industry the hygienic and sanitation condition of the factory improved significantly. As a result of which bacterial contamination in Bangladeshi frozen food reduced a minimum level and this was acclaimed internationally. It may be mentioned here that export of frozen shrimp has increasing in volume and value day by day.

Despite relentless efforts for producing safe food there are some cases of bacterial attack in their products. By the blessings of our media, this has got wide coverage in the newspapers which ultimately damaged our image in the country and abroad tremendously. On the other hand due to machination of some vested groups some allegation against Bangladesh shrimps products was raised. However it has to be admitted that HACCP system could not attain the desired goal due to ill-planned implementation. It is very sad that due to image problems Bangladesh is yearly losing about 10 per cent in respect of value from neighbouring countries….

Buyers also take the chance of circumstances and subsequently cancelled contracts or reduced prices yet we have to do something concrete for image building of Bangladesh in global market.

Experts opined that introduction of a seal of quality program with strict sanitary, environmental, social and human rights standards is urgently needed to continue access of Bangladesh shrimp to the world market. Without such a standard, Bangladesh will faces possible economic disaster as international buyers and consumers threaten sanctions because of pathogens found in shrimp and a failure to live up to internationally acceptable environmental, social and human rights standards. The country as a whole would pay a high price for the failure to develop an internationally recognised Seal of Quality. It will guarantee buyers that our shrimp meet the hygiene, human rights, labour and environmental codes. This seal will be awarded to firm that meet the codes.

Actually the industry association that will police its member will own SOQ. This is a self policing the quality management. ATDP-II is untiringly working for introducing SSOQ (Shrimp Seal of Quality) programme for Bangladesh shrimps industries. It may be mentioned here that a USFDA team will visit Bangladesh in September this year to inspect the quality of exported shrimp and its infrastructure.

Bangladesh’s shrimp industries are playing a significant role in the national economy. It produces about three per cent of global production of shrimp. Several million people in Bangladesh are directly or indirectly involved with shrimp industries. Bangladeshi shrimp having original texture and a mouth-watering taste has already been acclaimed in the world market. Bangladesh shrimp industries association BFFEA (Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association) are playing a pivotal role for the overall development of this sector. But the BFFEA, the main player of the sector, remains aloof from the prompters of SOQ. BFFEA strongly differs with the modalities of the SOQ prompters and believes that ultimately it will cause damage to the industry. A rift among the SOQ prompters and BFFEA will not be good for the industry. We also believe that without active participation of BFFEA, SOQ programme will not be successful. So, a united effort is very much urgent for saving Bangladesh shrimp industries.

The writer is a marketing director of a reputed seafood buying house and has been associated with shrimp industries of Bangladesh for more than 20 years.

From: zakir kibria banglapraxis@yahoo.com

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ADB team to review Sundarban biodiversity project
ZAHEDUL ISLAM

NewAge, July 8, 2004. Dhaka, Bangladesh www.newagebd.com

A high powered Asian Development Bank mission will arrive end July to decide whether to resume the Sundarban Bio-diversity Conservation Project that has remained stalled since September last year. The nine member team is expected on July 27 and to review the government initiatives so far taken to revive the project, said sources of the forest department, the implementing agency of the project.

The SBCP was initiated to protect the bio-diversity of Sundarban, the largest mangrove forest in the world, they said. The forest department under the ministry of environment and forest, has already started to prepare a draft of the reformulated project design of the SBCP. The project director Saiful Islam told New Age Wednesday that the final draft would be sent to the ADB for approval. ?If the lending agency approves the draft, we will prepare the outline of the reformulated SBCP.?

However, Saiful Islam said that it would take at least six months as the reformulated project outline would be forwarded to the ministry and then to planning commission for scrutiny. He said the revised proposal would accommodate the recommendations of the twelve consultative workshops with the stakeholders organised by the forest department after the suspension of the project.

The forest department organised the workshops to obtain stakeholdersí opinion to detect flaws in the components of
the original project and seek recommendations to overcome them.
The ADB, in September last year informed the government that it would discontinue the funding of the $77.5 million project, due to ?inefficiencies in project implementation and inconsistencies in the projectís expenditure accounts?.

The project was into its third year of implementation with roughly more than 30 per cent of the funds spent and only a small portion completed. The ADB granted a $33.9 million loan to the environment ministry to implement the project. Later the lending agency told the government that it might be revived if the government is overhauls the entire project, correct the inconsistencies in its accounts, and ensure the projectís compliance with ADBís guidelines.

Saiful Islam said the reformulated design of the project has been following those guidelines. The Sundarbans, covering some 10,000 square kilometres of land and water, is also home to the Royal Bengal tiger and a UNESCO world heritage site.The area of the Bangladesh part of Sundarban is 5,771 square kilometres (almost 62 per cent) of which 4,071 square kilometres is land and the rest water.

From: zakir kibria banglapraxis@yahoo.com

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SBCP Watch Group on Revision of SBCP

From the very inception of the Sundarban Bio-diversity Conservation
Project, SBCP Watch Group has been insisting on having this project
revised in accordance with the opinions of the People. The SBCP Watch Group has been regularly conducting people’s mobilization, media campaign, publications, meetings with Members of Parliament and International Campaigns on this issue. The SBCP Watch group has also held several meetings with representatives of ADB.

SBCP Watch Group is of the opinion that the Context formulation of SBCP is not realistic, and the components of the project are also not appropriate. If the project is implemented in its present shape, it will not result in conservation of Bio-diversity.

As a result of people’s movements, our Advocacy and media campaign, the ADB suspended the project via a letter dated September 4, 2003. ADB says that there have been many faults in implementing the project; hence the project has to be revised. In this perspective, on September 28, 2003 the SBCP Watch Group held a Press Conference and told the newsmen that the formulation of the project itself was faulty. As such, the responsibility for re-designing the project should be taken up by ADB. The people never wanted the project to be suspended. They only wanted the project to be
re-designed in accordance with their opinions. In this perspective, the SBCP Watch Group demands that the SBCP be re-designed in accordance with the opinions of the people, and the suspension be withdrawn as early as possible.

In March 2004, in the capacity of a member of the NGO Forum on ADB, th same sentiments of the people were expressed to ADB officials on the Lobby Day with the ADB at its office in Manila.

Later, the Forest Department commenced the process of reformulation of the project. But they never informed the SBCP Watch Group nor consulted with them on any component of the project. In spite of that, the SBCP Watch Group continued with it People’s Mobilization Program and published an Easy Reading Booklet explaining “Why the SBCP should be re-designed.” The
SBCP Watch Group has compiled the opinions of the people, and is attached with this report.

Suddenly, on June 21, 2004 the SBCP Watch Group was invited to meet ADB’s Consultant Dr. Sanaul Mustafa and Project Director of SBCP Dr. Saiful Islam, on June 24 at the Operations Office of ActionAid at Dhaka. In this perspective, a full meeting of the SBCP Watch group was held at Khulna and on June 24, the SBCP-WG participated in the meeting.

At the very opening, it was asked by the SBCP Watch Group as to what the purpose of the meeting was, and what would be the consequence of the meeting. The ADB Consultant and PD of SBCP said that it is an informal but important meeting. Accordingly, the SBCP Watch Group expressed the people’s opinions. On the other hand, the ADB’s Consultant presented the indings of 13 workshops conducted by the SBCP. After lengthy discussions, both groups agreed on some issues. The issues are :

?? The perspective of the Forest Department in respect of Conservation must beappropriate;
?? A committee and Federation of Sundarban Users must be formed and a Sundarban Resource Management system should be developed on the basis of
consultations with them;
?? The participation of the local population must be made more effective in the Sundarban Forest Management;
?? The pattern of Micro-Credit practiced at present must be re-designed;
?? The Conservation aspect of Eco-tourism must be given topmost priority,
and Eco-tourism must be conducted with that factor in mind;
?? The proposed Plantation program should be reconsidered and more importance should be given to natural regeneration of mangroves;
?? The Sundarban Stewardship Commission and Stakeholders Advisory Committee must be made more effective; the SBCP Watch Group proposed that the utmost importance be given to the Stakeholders’ Advisory Committee;
?? The works implemented by LGED in the Sundarban Impact Zone lacked coordination and appropriate EIA was not conducted prior to implementation.

In the meeting, the SBCP Watch Group also stated that the issue of
Eco-tourism must undergo deeper study, the SBCP must express in clear cut terms its stand on Shrimp policy, the impact of Hydrocarbon exploration and development in Block-5 which covers the Sundarban Impact Zone must be gone into more deeply, and that in respect of all large scale river management projects in the upstream areas, the projects concerned must obtain a Clearance from the SBCP, etc .

After that meeting the SBCP invited the SBCP Watch Group to the National workshop organized by them, on June 27, 2004 though it was not in their original plan. Accordingly, the SBCP Watch Group participated in the workshop. The opinion of the SBCP Watch Group is that the time devoted to the workshop was far too short, it is not understandable to the SBCP Watch Group as to the basis upon which the participants were selected, and that instead of terming this a National Workshop, it should have been termed as a National Presentation Workshop.

On July 8, Dr. Frederick C. Roche, Director, Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resource Division of ADB expressed his wish to meet with the SBCP Watch. Accordingly, a representative group of SBCP Watch Group met with Mr. Roche at 3-00 PM on July 8, 2004. The Group representatives included Ashraf-ul-Alam Tutu of CDP and Coordinator of SBCP-WG, Mausumi Mahapatro and Rayyan Hasan of ActionAid Bangladesh, Arup Rahee of Lokoj and Abu
Hasan Bakul of Muktir Alo. In the meeting, the SBCP Watch Group expressed their opinion that the reformulation process of SBCP has not succeeded in attracting the attention of the people sufficiently, and no national level debate has been held in that respect. Sufficient preparations were not made before embarking upon the People’s Consultation process. In these respects, the position of the SBCP Watch Group is crystal clear. The present project should be thoroughly re-designed in accordance with the opinions of the people. Otherwise, if it is mere eyewash, the project will
achieve neither bio-diversity conservation nor improve the people’s
livelihoods.

The ADB agreed that further focus would be given to the issue of
transparency, which would lead to easier availability of necessary
documents. The ADB also agreed on the drawbacks of the previous SBCP plan of action as put forward by the criticisms of the SBCP Watch Group. The major issues in the Sundarbans were lack of institutional accountability, especially of the Forest Department, and the role of the Stakeholders’ Advisory Committee and its lack of decision-making authority.

One of the key points raised in the meeting was by Arup Rahee of Lokoj who asked why the people have to bear the burden of paying the loan even when ADB decides to cancel the project. The meeting ended on a more optimistic note as the Director of Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources of ADB showed genuine concern on the views of the SBCP Watch Group and how they can be integrated into the redesigning process.

After this meeting, the SBCP Watch Group has taken up a renewed initiative for People’s Mobilization.

Ashraf-ul-Alam Tutu
Coordinator, CDP and
Coordinator, SBCP Watch Group.

Compiled by :
Anwar Firoze, Documents Development Coordinator, CDP.
From: cdp@khulna.bangla.net

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LATIN AMERICA
Ecuador

World Rainforest Movement, Bulletin #84

- Ecuador: Certified shrimps

The certification process for organic shrimps in Ecuador is promoted by Naturland, a German certifying company that launched processes in 1996 to certify shrimp farming companies in the country and to achieve accreditation of a green seal enabling exporting companies to enter markets with better prices and standards of quality. The main markets for organic shrimps are Germany, Switzerland, France and the United Kingdom.

In Ecuador, approximately 1,000 hectares of shrimp farm ponds have been certified. Part of the certification process requires compliance with Naturland standards -prepared with the support of the German cooperation agency GTZ- with national legislation and the obtaining of social benefits derived from this activity.

Certification is viewed by some environmental sectors as a way of
promoting multi-sectoral participation -NGOs, the private sector and he governmental sector- although the participation of communities involved in the process appears as a secondary consideration. The potential benefits of environmental certification in Ecuador are seen as follows: market access, reduced costs, social benefits and increased employment.

* Market access: “They hope to attract green consumers who pay higher prices for products guaranteeing lower environmental impacts in their production process.” However, most of the German consumers of the Deutsche See company, the largest fish supplier in Germany, which has been selling “ecological” shrimps since 2003 from shrimp farms certified by Naturland, do not know that 40 per cent come fromaquiculture. The consumers believe they are buying fish from the wild, and also suppose that there is respect for the environment, the communities and the laws of the country of origin
of the product. However, in practice this is not the case.

* Reduced costs due to savings in the purchase of agrochemical products and benefits to the companies, among which “less conflictive relations with the workers, local communities and environmental groups, reduction of erosion and other environmental and economic benefits.” The comparative
advantages of producing in the South also cut costs: fewer environmental regulations, cheap labour, and the environmental cost of the destruction of mangroves is not considered, resulting in a much higher ecological debt generated by this export activity.

* Social benefits: “The reduction of toxic chemicals, provision of basic working equipment for the workers, construction of basic sanitary facilities and provision of recreation areas and social services have improved the welfare and productivity of the workers. These benefits are enjoyed by local communities.” In the case of shrimp farms, there is no evidence of improvement for the local communities that continue to face restrictions in land available for agriculture, loss of free access to the remaining mangroves, loss of water resources, implying a reduction in their income and loss in their quality of life.

* Increased employment: “The growth of exports has generated more employment.” This statement, in the case of shrimp farming does not coincide with the true situation. Because of the crisis in the sector, the number of workers has dropped and the level of employment in shrimp farms is fairly low, in addition to the fact that employment is temporary. In general, workers are not hired from the same area and working conditions are not among the best. If we compare this statement with the number of jobs lost because of mangrove destruction and the effects on traditional fishing, activities that used to be carried out by families, the balance
is negative for the shrimp industry.

This vision of the potential benefits of certification does not consider that the promotion of these export activities and their endorsement as a model has been done to the detriment of food sovereignty and that export activities such as shrimp farms, palm tree and banana tree plantations and flower growing, have shown their negative effects in the country.

The certification of shrimp farms has not brought with it either social or environmental benefits, reforested mangrove areas have not been returned to the ecosystem and problems still subsist with neighbouring communitie that no longer have free access to the remaining mangrove areas and furthermore, have not been consulted.

The standards and procedures used in certification processes are not transparent, the information is not made public, the community has not been consulted and they do not comply with national legislation.

In practice, large companies are benefiting from a green discourse that does not correspond to what is happening in the sector, and are not even complying with the standards they are obliged to conform with to obtain certification. They are more concerned over cleansing their image.

Certification responds exclusively to an issue of Northern consumers
-ensuring “cleaner” food- rather than improving conditions in the
mangroves and local communities.

The development model in which certification is framed privileges the exportation of products to satisfy consumers from industrialised countries before improving production for national markets, even at the cost of destroying ecosystems, displacing the population and placing at risk the ancestral users of coastal ecosystems.

By: Ricardo Buitrón C., e-mail manglares@accionecologica.org
Complete version of the article “Certification of organic shrimps. A Green Seal to impunity” available (in Spanish) at:
WRM

From: Teresa Perez

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Colombia

S.O.S. Rio Sinu
Information bulletin from ASPROCIG, July 20, 2004

“Running across the plains, through the forests and mountains, an infinite generous wind, that within an immense and invisible bag, gathers all of the dreams, words, and rumors of our land. The screams, the songs, the whistles, the prayers, all of the truth sung or cried by man, the mountains and the birds will stop at this enchanted bag of wind…”
(Athahualpa Yupanqui, 1965)

REGIONAL MEETING OF PEOPLE FOR MANGROVES
26 July: International Mangrove Day

Santa Cruz de Lorica, Columbia: In commemoration of International Mangrove Day, 26 July 2004, more than 100 delegates of campesino, indigenous and fisher communities from the Bajo and Medio Sinu River will come together on the route to Cantarillo, which is located at the city limits of Lorica, San Antero and SanBernardo del Viento. This area is adjacent to the Soledad marsh, at the very south end of the Cispatá Bay mangrove forest.

The event “Meeting of People for Mangroves” is aimed at sending a message to the general public about the importance of this ecosystem for the survival of thousands of campesino and fisher families who live in and around the mangrove forests. In addition, the event intends to publicly denounce the grave and irreversible environmental and social impacts that the shrimp farming industry has had on the area, an industry which has expanded and thrived without the slightest controls by the environmental authorities.

Leaving simultaneously at 7:00am, caravans of bicyclists totaling almost 1,000 people form Santa Cruz de Lorica and San Bernardo del Viento will meet up, traveling distances of 16 and 8 km, respectively. The caravans will be led by the mayors of the two municipalities.

The promoters of the event have organized recreational and sporting activities, as well as surprise raffles, for the participants. Local live radio and television coverage of the entire event is guaranteed.

Organizers: ASPROCIG, Mayor of Lorica, Mayor of San Bernardo del Viento, AUNISAN and Fundación Bachue.

From: “Mun?an?” <yupanqui@edatel.net.co>

Translation by Noya Munoz

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Brazil

Degradation revealed by MANGROVE research study
Saturday, July the 3rd, 2004

Diario de Pernambuco Newspaper

A new tool for managing the Santa Cruz and Jaguaribe River estuary areas has been concluded. The survey quantified the ecosystem in the region between 1974 and 1998 by comparing aerial photography and satellite images. During this period 304 hectares of mangrove have disappeared. In the Jaguaribe River the devastation accounted for the devastation of 11 hectares. Degradation, however, is probably higher than this, for real estate development and shrimp farming activities have greatly increased since 1998.

Ms. Ana Regina de Moura, coordinator of the project ‘Use of Remote Sensing and Geoprocessing Techniques in Environmental Management of Santa Cruz Channel and Jaguaribe River Estuary Areas’ has highlighted the reliability of the process: “Through satellite imaging, the data is very clear. It is possible to observe land occupation and to limit licensing for new developments”. Ms. Moura also coordinates the Remote Sensing and Geoprocessing Laboratory at ITEP.

The Santa Cruz Channel crosses 22 kilometers in the municipalities of Itamaraca, Igarassu, Itapissuma and Goiana. Except for Goiana, where the 22 hectares of mangrove were recovered, with a total now of 282 hectares, all other regions went through devastation and deforestation. The greatest destruction occurred in Igarassu, which had 427 hectares in 1998, 182 less than in 1974. The largest mangrove coverage is in Itapissuma, with a total of 1,049 hectares, 36 less than in 1974. In the Jaguaribe River area a 12 hectares reduction was observed; the total mangrove coverage in the region in 1998 was of 76 hectares.

The project coordinator says that since 1998 shrimp farming has increased. Shrimp farms occupied a total of 40 hectares of the Santa Cruz Channel area that year and now they represent 648. “Shrimp farming contributes to the region’s social and economical development, but brings about environmental damages to an area that needs permanent protection”. Our project will be the basis for regulating State Law n? 9,931, which deals with estuary conservation.

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During the last 24 years

Research shows growth of mangrove areas in the state of Ceara
O Povo Newspaper, June 3rd 2004

Fortaleza, June 3rd 2004
The Economic Environmental Zoning project of the State of Ceara, an ongoing survey that will finished by December, will gather data and allow a complete image of the State’s coast

Ariadne Ara&?acute;jo, from the newsroom

The Jaguaribe has gained 45 hectares of mangrove in the last 24 years, according to the Economic Environment Zoning project of the State of Ceara. (Picture by Felipe Abud)

On site assessment and satellite images surprise us by showing a 5% expansion in the mangrove coverage in the State of Ceara during the last 24 years. The Jaguaribe River, for instance, has grown 45 hectares during the period (the area has 1,164 hectares of mangroves today). Mr. Luis Parente, director of the Sea Sciences Institute (Instituto de Ciencias do Mar – Labomar), at the Federal University of Ceara (UFC), holds the scientific answer to the subtle change in the coastline scenario. The images, according to Mr. Parente, show the impact of the construction of an unheard of number of dams in the State.

By containing water through dams, the river is reduced to its main channel and no longer invades the flood areas around it. With time it starts to suffer the influences of tides. It is in this area, reached by tides, that mangrove vegetation finds its natural habitat and starts to grow. “Just to give you an idea in the Jaguaribe River only 5% of the basin is not controlled or regulated by dams”, says Mr. Parente, PhD in Marine Sciences and geologist. Crossing the metropolitan region of the city of Fortaleza, the Pacoti River is yet another example that stands out in scanned images: a total of 140 dams can be counted in its extension.

The construction of many dams reduces the fresh water inflow in estuaries, making their salinity higher and creating the perfect conditions for mangrove development, says Mr. Parente. By closely observing the information system prepared by the institute, he has calculated the total area of mangroves created in these conditions in the State’s East coast: 1,837 hectares. Shortly, with new satellite images, professor Parente will be able to calculate these areas in the West coast. The survey isn’t ready yet, however Mr. Parente says it is clear that “there is a mangrove expansion trend in the State of Ceara”.

The mangrove map in the State of Ceara, however, is only a chapter in a larger assessment that will soon be completed. The name of the project is Environment Economic Zone (ZEE – Zoneamento Ecologico Economico). Under the auspices of Labomar and by the request of the State Environment Superintendency (Semace), the scientific research will present by the end of the year a complete and detailed snapshot of the state’s coastal zone. The document shall present existing flora and fauna of the estuaries, social and economic assessment of the population in river and sea areas and estuary, beach and flatlands support capacity surveys.

At the same time, more technical data will be made available. Information such as tidal and river flows, nutrient balance and current, wind and wave data will be included. ZEE shall be the main tool for renewing or granting licenses for new developments in the state of Ceara. “We will be able to understand the degradation level and therefore know how much can be done or when to stop”, says professor Parente. Labomar has assigned 24 field teams to undertake the task. The teams are made of professors, PhDs and students of UFC. Besides Ceara, in the Rio Grande do Norte is the only state in the Northeast that is as advanced in the ZEE project.

However late, the zoning – which is now compulsory, according to Brazil’s Environment Ministry – is of utmost importance for licensing and control of shrimp farming activities, for instance. Satellite images can be used to condemn or acquit the industry’s entrepreneurs of the environmental crimes they are so often accused of. On a computer screen, the salt marshes, which according to the State Environment Council is a transition area between mangrove and flat lands (therefore allowed to shrimp farming activities) and the mangroves (a more serious issue) occupied by farms can be clearly seen.

Excerpt from O Povo - Noolhar.com 
Sent by Terramar terramar@fortalnet.com.br

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Guatemala

The Shrimp Farming Industry in Guatemala

The shrimp farming industry is one of the largest destroyers of mangrove forests that grow in river estuaries and intertidal zones of tropical and sub tropical coasts.

The Guatemalan company Granjas Camaroneras, S.A. (GRACAMSA) located in Champerico, has initiated a project to pump sea water in order to insure that the water is of the best quality for shrimp production. Nevertheless, the water in the shrimp ponds is treated with various chemicals to enhance shrimpgrow. GRACAMSA empties the pools draining this water into the estuaries. According to the shrimp farm company, this water will prevent the estuaries from drying out. But, what is the water quality that the shrimp farm is pouring into the estuaries?

These types of projects do not signify any real change within the industrial model of shrimp production, an activity that has shown itself to be unsustainable and incompatible with mangrove ecosystems and the people who use them.

Sent by Tropico Verde info@tropicoverde.org

Translation by Noya Munoz

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Honduras

LA MARCH NATIONAL POR LA VIDA
“The National March for Life”

The National March for Life ended in Tegucigalpa, Honduras on the 30th of June, 2004 but this was only the beginning of a long struggle for the protection and preservation of the natural resources of this country. National and foreign interests are exploiting these resources with little or no compensation for the people who depend on them most-the poor, the indigenous, and the farmers who make their living from this land.
This is a march of the people, a peaceful movement of civic resistance against local and foreign interests that are impoverishing the pueblos of Honduras. Its goal is to help the general public become more aware of the dire situation and the importance of conservation, and to get the government to listen to the needs of the people.
The demands of the capital are simple: stop clear cutting forests; stop polluting mangrove and costal ecosystems; stop mining the land with no controls; and stop letting foreign companies come in and do the same or worse damage to the flora and fauna of this country. Start watchdog organizations that have the people in mind rather than foreign interests, start respecting the rules set down by the International Organization of Workers, and start upholding the laws already set forth by the constitution that are to protect the livelihoods of the people.
Not only do the marchers want the government and foreign companies to take action but also remind the people that the stewardship of the land rests in everyone’s hands. A few people have already died for this cause and many more are willing to give their lives to protect the resources that they, their children, and many generations to come, will need to survive.
This is a march for life, because without nature no one can live, not even those who change her into money every day. It has come to this because there is no other peaceful alternative – this movement will continue for months and years to come until change is realized.

“For the forests, for the water, for the land, for the air… for life. This march will not forget.”

From: Padre Andrés Tamayo
MAO-COFADEH
Comisión Nacional “Marcha por la Vida”
cofadeh@sdnhon.org.hn
translated and summarized by Noya Muñoz

From cgolf@coddeffagolf.net

NORTH AMERICA
USA

US ANTI-DUMPING MEASURES AGAINST
CHINA, VIETNAM
Shrimp exporters sceptical about
extra gains
KAZI AZIZUL ISLAM

NewAge, July 13, 2004. Dhaka, Bangladesh

www.newagebd.com

Local shrimp exporters will remain cautious about raising their stake in the US market, despite having a huge export opportunity apparently created there after the US anti-dumping measures on Chinese and Vietnamese shrimps.
In view of the overall situation, they rather have chosen to focus on European market instead of rushing to US market to avoid any unwanted situation.
Industry people observed that at present, European market is sustainable for Bangladesh’s shrimp export. Any sudden shift may invite harsh measures as imposed on two of Asian competitors.
Although the US recent action against China and Vietnam may shift exports from EU to US market, taking it as a chance will be a mistake for Bangladeshi exporters, they pointed out.
The United States slapped punitive tariffs on Chinese and Vietnamese shrimps as an investigation showed that the two countries were “dumping” shrimps to US market at a price lower than the normal rate.
In the EU market Bangladeshi shrimp price ranges between $4.8 to 5 per pound while price varies 10-15 cents in the US market.
The recent US measures would raise total duty on Chinese shrimp up to 112.81 per cent while it will be as high as 92.13 per cent on imports from Vietnam.
Bangladesh, however, enjoys zero duty facility for shrimp export to the USA.
The US action may affect about one billion dollars worth of export of the two Asian countries as prices of their shrimp will go up due to the anti-dumping measures, industry experts say.
?We are cautiously observing the developments and market trends in the UnitedStates,? said Quazi Monirul Haq, president of the Bangladesh Frozen Foods Exporters Association (BFFEA).
Local shrimp exporters have recently discussed Bangladesh’s market position in the US and possible impacts of the US anti-dumping measures against the two countries, he said.
Later, they agreed not to go for any sudden increase in Bangladesh’s shrimp export to the USA, the single largest buyer of Bangladesh’s shrimp.
Industry sources said that Bangladeshís exporters have already started getting increasing orders from US buyers following the US action against the two countries.
“It can be a tarp for Bangladesh if we immediately respond to those,” feared a leading exporter, who has buyers in both the EU countries and the United States.
Officials in the BFFEA said that before the anti-dumping issue was raised, Bangladesh was getting higher prices for its shrimp from EU market compared to US prices and shrimp export was expanding there while it was on the decrease in the US.
In the fiscal 2002-2003, Bangladesh exported shrimp worth $77 million to the US, which accounts for 26 per cent of the total export of $171 million.
In the previous fiscal 2001-2002, shrimp export to the US was $97 million or 38 per cent of $ 252 million of the total export.
In the first 11 month of the just-concluded fiscal 2003-2004, the country earned $ 344 million from export of frozen foods, especially shrimps.
Bangladeshi shrimp export to US market averages nearly 16000 million pound, BFFEA officials said.
Earlier, the US authority decided to investigate anti-dumping allegation by categorising the countries whose export exceeds 20,000 million pound.
The United States Department of Commerce decided to impose anti-dumping duty on shrimp of China and Vietnam responding to a petition made by US shrimp apex body ó Southern Shrimp Allianceó last December, which alleged that cheap imports had cut the value of the US shrimp harvest to $550 million in 2002 from $1.25 billion in 2000.
Local exporters are also of the view that with a annual production less than 40,000 tonnes, Bangladesh’s shrimp sector is not in a position now to increase volume of export to US market.

From: zakir kibria banglapraxis@yahoo.com

———-

NEW COOPERATIVE STUDY TO EXPLORE EFFORT IN THE GULF OF
MEXICO SHRIMP FISHERY

The National Marine Fisheries Service is pleased to announce that a new cooperative study will be conducted with the shrimping industry to better understand and measure shrimp fishing effort. Effort is a
term that describes the number of hours or days fishers actually spend harvesting seafood. NOAA is an agency of the U. S. Dept. of Commerce.

This multi-year study will entail the use of Electronic Logbook technology developed by LGL Ecological Research Associates, Inc. of Bryan, Texas, during a pilot program funded under contract from the Gulf   South Atlantic Fisheries Foundation, Inc.

“When the study is completed, we expect to have many new and more efficient ways to measure effort in the shrimping industry, said James Nance, chief of NOAA Fisheries, Galveston Laboratory Fishery Management Branch. “This study,s primary objective is to enhance our ability to measure bycatch in the shrimping industry and to better estimate its impact on other fisheries, added Nance. Bycatch is the harvesting or incidental catch of fish or other organisms other than the species targeted in a fishery.

“From NOAA Fisheries, perspective, cooperative studies like this are critical to building consensus and identifying ways to keep America,s fisheries sustainable, added Nance. “We commend all members of the
shrimping Industry for their willingness to tackle the issue of bycatch head-on and look forward to doing everything possible to contribute to the success of this study.

Benny J. Gallaway of LGL Ecological Research Associates will coordinate the industry,s involvement in this study. According to Gallaway, “this study, along with the new approach NOAA Fisheries has implemented
for conducting stock assessments, points towards a new era in fisheries management. Industry has been made a part of the process from field investigations to assessment. The fisheries, as well as the managers and fishermen, all stand to benefit.

“We will soon announce a series of port meetings to describe the new program and its importance, continued Gallaway. “We urge everyone who can to attend and also urge everyone who is asked to carry an ELB to do so. This is industry,s chance to be a part of the solution to effort estimation problems, a chance we can,t afford to miss. The ball is in our court.

This and other Southeast Regional news releases and fishery bulletins are available on the region’s Internet home page:
WWW.sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/.

NOAA Fisheries provides effective stewardship of these resources for the benefit of the nation, supporting coastal communities that depend upon them, and helping to provide safe and healthy seafood to consumers and recreational opportunities for the American public. To learn more about NOAA Fisheries, please visit: www.nmfs.noaa.gov.

The Commerce Department,s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and
climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation,s coastal and marine resources. To learn more about NOAA,
please visit www.noaa.gov.

From Greg McCormack-Education Specialist
NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
website: WWW.olympiccoast.noaa.gov

———-

U.S. hits shrimp farmers with duties
Companies accounting for about a fifth of Vietnam’s shrimp exports to the United States were hit with duties of 93 percent last week because they didn’t provide enough evidence of independence from Vietnam’s government, U.S. authorities said this week.

* Read the full article at: SEATTLE PI

From:
STORIES/ISSUES
SCIENCE PAPER URGES NEW PARADIGM OF FISHERY MANAGEMENT
Seventeen of the world?s top marine scientists have unveiled a plan that seeks to avert the collapse of fish populations by focusing on managing the entire ecosystem rather than one species at a time.
The new management regime, coined Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management, is detailed in the July 16 issue of Science and is the first step toward revolutionizing the way fisheries are managed to ensure long-lasting sustainability. This significant advancement would overturn the paradigm of maximizing the catch of individual species that has prevailed for more than half a century.
The consensus statement, by prominent fishery experts representing 14 research institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, delineates an inclusive approach to fishery management that would balance economic and environmental concerns. It places paramount importance on the overall health of ecosystems, and then considers factors such as predator-prey relationships among species, the quality of the habitat they rely upon, the direct and indirect effects of fish capture methods, and finally, the target species itself.
“We?ve been putting blinders on, but it is now clear that single-species management is inadequate, and in many cases, destructive,” says the paper’s lead author Ellen Pikitch, executive director of the Pew Institute for Ocean Science. The Science report’s authors include three Pew Fellows: Paul Dayton (’95) Burr Heneman (’99), and Pikitch (’00).
Movement towards ecosystem-based approaches has been recommended by the Pew Oceans Commission in 2003, in the recently released draft report of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, and in a number of international arenas. Some elements of the approach are already being implemented in California, Alaska and Australia.
The authors write, ?Ideally, EBFM would shift the burden of proof so that fishing would not take place unless it could be shown not to harm key components of the ecosystem.? In addition, an ecosystem-focused approach would stimulate research about ecosystem processes and the likely consequences of human actions.
“Ecosystem-based fishery management can be implemented right now, even in cases where very little information is available,? says Pikitch. ?Because of the complexity and uncertainty about marine ecosystems, this approach will inevitably require erring on the side of caution.?
Managers would need to pay closer attention to the entire food web, such as to prey species critical to the endangered Steller Sea Lion in Alaska, and to bycatch (non-targeted species) such as white marlin, which has been inadvertently decimated because of tuna and swordfish fishing.
?Overfishing top predators like marlins is dangerous, because these species fill a vital role in marine food webs,? says co-author Dr. Elizabeth Babcock, Chief Scientist with the Pew Institute for Ocean Science at the Rosenstiel School. Babcock attributes over 90 percent of the annual mortality of white marlin to the tuna and swordfish longline fisheries.
Although moving to ecosystem-based fishery management will not be easy, the report’s authors stress that it should begin immediately, because the potential benefits trump the status quo of species-focused management.
To read the paper, go to (requires AAAS membership):
SCIENCE MAG
—SOURCE: Pikitch, E. K. et al. Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management. Science, volume 305, issue 5682, July 16, 2004.www.sciencemag.org/

From: SeaSpan@pewoceanscience.org

———-

When A Fish Was A Fish!
Pollutants turning a third of male fish into females. A third of the male fish in British rivers are turning into females because of “gender-bending” pollutants being discharged from sewage outflows. London Independent, England. [related stories]

From Industrial FishFarming — posted by mritchie@iatp.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS
New News Service By ISCF

We at ICSF have recently launched SAMUDRA News Alerts, a free service designed to deliver news on fisheries and related issues, on a daily or weekly digest basis, in plain-text or HTML format. The service is now in a beta (test) phase and we hope, in time, to develop it into a full-fledged news service, with exclusive, original stories on small-scale and artisanal fisheries, particularly in the regions of the South, and also on issues that deal with women in fisheries. Apart from news and stories on fisheries, the service also focuses on environmental and oceans issues.

Please visit www.icsf.net to subscribe. The ICSF website has archives of all past news items as well as all issues of SAMUDRA
Report and several other documents and resources that might interest you. We would also be happy to get feedback and suggestions on the news service and the website. You can either email me or ICSF at icsf@icsf.net.

From: “KG Kumar” kg@tug.org.in

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Coastal Day For Remembrance Proposed
A devastating cyclone, accompanied by a huge tidal surge, hit the coast of Bangladesh in the night of November 11-12, 1970, killing more than half a million people and destroying property and infrastructure worth billions.

In memory of that day and its victims, and in order to highlight the
development needs of the Coastal region, proposals are being put forward to observe November 12 as Coastal Day.

In view of the above, CDP with its Network partners intends to observe the Coastal Day through a two-day program on November 12-13, 2004 throughout the Southwest Coastal Region of Bangladesh, with discussions, workshops etc. in all our working areas in this region. The central program, however, will be held at Khulna.

From Ashraf-ul-Alam Tutu cdp@khulna.bangla.net

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS
The Handbook of Philippine Mangroves -

Panay (2004) by
J.H. Primavera, R.B. Sadaba, M.J.H. Lebata and J.P. Altamirano is:

- a field guide for local communities, NGOs, students, teachers and researchers to identify 35 species of Philippine mangroves based on plant morphology (shape, color, texture, size), and biology and ecology (substrate, intertidal level, reproductive season)
- covers 106 pages with numerous full color photos, has a laminated cover and handy size ideal for field use
- chapters on Importance of Mangroves, Decline and Legislation, Conservation, Mangrove-Friendly Aquaculture, Rehabilitation

For orders, please contact:
SALES AND CIRCULATION
SEAFDEC Aquaculture Department
Tigbauan, Iloilo 5021
Philippines
Tel (6333) 511-9172
Fax (6333) 511-8709
Email sales@aqd.safdec.org.ph

———-

“Community Forests. Equity, use and conservation”

It is with great pleasure that we would like to announce the publication of a new book: “Community Forests. Equity, use and conservation”

As we all know, the conservation of the world’s forests requires the
adoption of a series of measures to change the current model of
destruction, among which the empowerment of local communities to manage their own forests.

In most of the countries of the world, there are many examples of
appropriate forest management, in which environmentally sustainable use is assured while benefiting local communities. This type of management is generically known as “community-based forest management,” although it adopts different modalities in accordance with the socio-environmental diversity of the places where it is developed.

This publication (also available in Spanish and French) aims at supporting and promoting this type of approach. The book is divided into two sections: the first one, presents a series of analytical article on the subject, and the second one consists of a selection of articles based on experiences of community forest management from different countries of the world.

Non Governmental Organizations and Indigenous Peoples Organizations can ask for a free copy of the book. To do so, please contact WRM International Secretariat at: bookswrm@wrm.org.uy and send your postal address (please include detailed information).

For other organizations or institutions its cost is US$ 10 (shipment
included). You can either send a cheque (against a U.S bank) payable to: “Fundación Movimiento Mundial por los Bosques Tropicales” to the following address:

From: Teresa Perez

———-

The “Gender Agenda”

Here is another excellent resource that we can utilize in the planning   implementation of the AW IHOF workshops. This 100 page document “GENDER AGENDA” has been put together by International Collective in Support of Fish Workers (ICSF) and can be down loaded as a PDF file at the following website:

ICSF

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia” mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

———-

CZAP 2004: Coastal Zone Asia Pacific Conference ’04

Date : 05-09-2004 to 09-09-2004
Description : “Improving the Quality of Life in Coastal Areas” is the theme of the conference, which will focus on short presentations that stimulate a group discussion about key findings, future actions and collaborative linkages; an action-oriented conference with maximum participation. The themes of the conference are: Poverty and sustainable livelihoods; Ecosystem management (ecosystem-based management);Community participation; Resource economics; Coastal and marine planning; Integrated management; and Communities and cultures.
Venue : Hilton Hotel Brisbane, Australia
Contact Email : sally.brown@uq.net.au
URL
AQUACULTURE CORNER
NY TIMES

July 14, 2004

Where Salmon Is Sold, Playing the Wild Card

By MARIAN BURROS

WHEN a restaurant like Esca in New York, where a plate of salmon sells for $28, says it serves only the wild variety, that is not news. When Legal Seafood, a chain of 30 restaurants, adds three wild salmon dishes to its menu, that is. Seventy-five percent of all salmon served at Legal Seafood is now wild, even though the wild dishes cost $5 more.

“Sales of wild salmon had been flat, but this year they have taken off,” said Roger S. Berkowitz, the company’s chief executive officer. “About 50 percent order it because of fear, 50 percent because they like the taste.”

The fear Mr. Berkowitz speaks of was generated by reports warning of contaminants in farmed salmon and the ecological damage fish farms can cause. In January, an article in the journal Science confirmed that farmed salmon has seven times the PCB’s and dioxins of wild salmon. While salmon is the most widely eaten fish next to shrimp and canned tuna – its high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids making it especially popular – the article advised that eating farmed salmon be limited to once a month.

After rising for a decade, sales of farmed salmon have fallen, and the wild salmon industry, which had taken a beating in competition with lower-priced farmed fish, is experiencing a small rebound. In the first three months of 2004, imports of farmed salmon were down 10 million pounds, and total sales of farmed fresh fillets were down to $140 million from $158.1 million for the same period last year, according to Howard Johnson of H. M. Johnson and Associates, a market research firm in Jacksonville, Ore. Most farmed salmon sold in the United States comes from abroad.

Because it is the middle of the fishing season, meaningful sales figures for wild salmon are not available. But Chris McDowell, a consultant to the Alaskan Salmon Marketing Institute, said projected sales of wild salmon fillets are an indicator of the greater demand. Last year, five million to six million pounds of fillets were sold, about 2 percent of total Alaskan salmon production; this year, the expectation is sales of more than 20 million pounds. In addition, some prices are up.

“From the southeast fisheries, one of the Alaska regions for salmon fishing, the price of king salmon, which is top of the line, was bringing the fishermen $5 to $6 a pound last winter, compared to $2.50 to $3 the year before,” Mr. McDowell said. Prices are higher in the winter. “Now,” he said, “they are getting $2 a pound. Last year they were getting about $1.”

Supermarkets as well as restaurants are eyeing wild salmon with new interest.

Costco, which sells whole wild salmon from time to time, is exploring stocking wild fillets on a regular basis. “There’s a lot of resistance to farm raised,” said Tim Rose, the company’s senior vice president for food and fresh foods. “Sales of farm raised were growing about 10 percent; now they are flat. So we are looking to test the waters on wild salmon in the next 90 days.”

A P supermarkets are selling silverbrite, a fresh wild salmon known as chum. It is less expensive than the better-known coho, chinook or sockeye. Chum and the most common Pacific species, pink, are generally used in patties, frozen fillets or in canned salmon. They are lighter in color, have less fat and are milder in flavor than other wild salmon, more like farmed.

Recently, fresh pink salmon fillets were at Super Fresh, one of the chains owned by A P, for $2.99 a pound, $3 less per pound than farmed Atlantic salmon. Several of the chains owned by A P, like Waldbaum’s and Food Emporium, offer this variety.

“We have seen an increase in demand for wild salmon but we can’t say specifically whether it was the study or just a demand for more natural food,” said Dave Alameda, national director of seafood for A P.

Most wild salmon sold in the United States is Alaskan. Because it is a carefully monitored, sustainable fishery, the supply is limited, and the catch varies from year to year. Farms account for most of the salmon sold in the United States.

Mindful of consumers’ fears and environmental issues raised by aquaculture, salmon farmers are changing their methods, including buying fish feed with fewer PCB’s.

Some farmed salmon producers are fighting back with claims that are causing confusion and mistrust, said Alex Trent, executive director of Salmon of the Americas, an association whose members supply 95 percent of the farmed salmon in the United States. Some farmed salmon is being promoted as organic, even though the government has not established standards for organic fish. Mr. Trent objects to that label.

He said he was particularly worried about claims from one company, Black Pearl, which on Jan. 14 issued a press release saying its farmed salmon has lower levels of PCB’s than other farmed or wild salmon. “We do not want to be accused of misleading people about PCB’s,” Mr. Trent said. “Our levels are down but not like what Black Pearl claims.”

Richard Martin, owner of Martin International Corporation, distributor of Black Pearl, declined to comment on Mr. Trent’s statements.

Jane Houlihan, the research director for the Environmental Working Group, which published one of the early reports on PCB’s in farmed salmon, said Black Pearl made its claims based on 12 PCB chemicals rather than the 100 cited in the Science article. Black Pearl subsequently acknowledged that and has removed the PCB claim from its Web site.

Ms. Houlihan added that Black Pearl “is trying to do a lot of good things,” raising the salmon without chemicals and without antibiotics. “They just need to do total PCB testing,” she said.

Whole Foods markets, a large retailer of natural and organic foods, sell Black Pearl fish alongside wild salmon.

“We chose those that are the best we can get,” said Margaret Wittenberg, the vice president of public affairs at Whole Foods. “We choose companies trying to do something a little bit better using better practices, trying to offer consumers a better choice.”

Ms. Wittenberg said she was not aware of the objections to Black Pearl’s now-abandoned PCB claims.

“I think,” she said, “the message is out for aquaculture to maybe try to be as environmentally sensitive as possible and those are the ones we are looking for.”

From: Lynn Hunter

———-

 

Black cod farming alarms fishermen email this article
When Juneau fisherman Paula Terrel looks ahead, she sees the potential for the Pacific Ocean’s successful black cod commercial fisheries to go the way of the salmon: from community-based fishing to industrial farming. To her chagrin, both the U.S. and Canadian governments are working to spur black cod and other offshore fish farming. Terrel’s fears about how fish farming could change her livelihood–and that of nearly 1,000 other U.S. black cod fishermen–could be realized soon. Over the border in British Columbia, Gidon Minkoff of Sablefin Hatcheries Ltd. is preparing his first harvest of 30,000 young black cod, called sablefish outside of Alaska, for their journey to offshore net pens in the ocean this year. (07/12/04) Fairbanks News Miner 

———-

Salmon escape from Vancouver Island fish farm email this article
Hundreds of Atlantic salmon escaped from a fish farm through holes in a net, resulted in renewed demands by Indians and environmentalists for a shutdown of the industry. Stolt Sea Farm officials confirmed that 2,587 fish escaped last weekend from the Sargeaunt Pass operation in the Broughton Archipelago off northern Vancouver Island. Vice president Dale Blackburn said the company is disciplining a manager and others who failed to check a net with three holes, one of five nets being used to sort 9,000 of the 600,000 fish at the site. (07/16/04) Seattle P-I 

From: “Elaine Corets” manglar@comcast.net

———-

Over One Million Salmon Escape From Chilean Salmon Farm

15 Jul 2004

From: “Alejandro Mendez”
Escape de salmones en Aysén, Chile.

ECOCEANOS

Sección: Acuicultura
Más de un millón de salmones escaparon de jaulas de cultivo en Aysén
El senador Antonio Horvath solicitó información a la oficina regional
del Servicio Nacional de Pesca, confirmándole la efectividad de esta nueva
fuga masiva de salmones, los cuales pertenecerían a una compañía
transnacional.

“Juan Carlos Cardenas” ecoceanos@ecoceanos.cl

———-

mon_Aquaculture/News_Releases/newsaquaculture07200401.asp>

Analysis Links Fish Farms, Sea Lice, and Salmon Crash

An independent report released today by the David Suzuki Foundation adds to and strengthens the growing body of scientific evidence linking open-netcage salmon farms, sea lice, and lethal impacts to wild pink salmon in the Broughton Archipelago. The report is authored by Ian Williams, a professional biologist with over 35 years of experience in fisheries research in BC. It reviews, and discounts, other possible factors leading to the extremely low levels of pink salmon returning in 2002 and strongly suggests that sea lice from fish farms in the area are the only remaining explanation for the severity of the observed crash. (07/20/04) David Suzuki Foundation 
Group faults Suzuki report (07/21/04) CNW Telbec

From: Lynn Hunter hunterlynn@shaw.ca

AROUND THE CORNER
India Action Planned For July 26th
It is our pleasure to meet you through this mail. We thank you for all you news on Mangroves.
As you know us that we are also putting our efforts in conserving and regenerating the valuable mangroves in Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh, India. In 2003 An Assocation for the Conservation   Management of Coastal Natural Resources (ACMCNR) has been formed with all the coastal fishermen communities inorder to work for the mangrove ecosystems.

On the occasion of World Mangrove Day, we planned organize “Mangrove Conservation Celebrations”.
These Celebrations are going on for the last 3 days i.e. 22nd to 26th. Planned activities are, Village Level Mangrove Procession with the team of Street players. In each village Street plays on mangrove are being organized, so far 15 villages were covered. Importance of Mangrove Conservation has been emphasised. Along with Village level street palys, we are inviting all the coastal fishermen communities for a workshop on 26th i.e.’World Mangrove Day Celebration”. This is a joint venture of thsi ACMCNR and CCDP. Officials from Forest Department have agreed to participate in the same. The emphasis in this workshop will be liberating mangroves from human threats. Safeguarding the same, with the participation of Local Communities, and Forest Department.

In this regard we request you all to give your valuable message for the same, which will be presented in the same workshop.

From: “Gowri Eliah”

The MAP News, 141st Ed., 7 July 2004

Dear Friends,

This is the 141st Edition of the Mangrove Action Project News, formerly called the Late Friday News. We have changed the name of our newsletter to better reflect the nature of our newsletter which is posted on MAP’s website and sent out via internet to over 2500 e-mail contacts around the globe. We again ask for your succinct and relevant news stories from your own regions for inclusion in the MAP News!

This newsletter is brought to you for free, but PLEASE help MAP stay in this fight for the future by becoming a donating subscriber today! Contact: mangroveap@olympus.net

Also, Please Donate Your Frequent Flyer Miles To MAP! Please consider helping MAP meet those demands for our presence at certain conferences and workshops whereby our greatest cost to attend important events is airfare, which often holds us back from

attending important fora where MAP’s presence should be felt.

Please donate your frequent flyer miles to MAP so we can be in the

right place at the right time to present MAP’s needed voice at such fora where too often the grassroots voice for the local communities

and for the mangroves is not heard.

Salud,

Alfredo Quarto,

Mangrove Action Project

mangroveap@olympus.net.

Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.

Contents for LATE FRIDAY NEWS, 141st Edition, 7 July 2004
FEATURE STORY
Freedom for the Mangroves Day!–The 26th of July, A Global Call For Action:

MAP WORKS
Emergency Appeal to Rebuild A Center

Bamboo Furniture Making Workshop Success

New Website On Mangrove Restoration Launched

Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration training workshop

ENJOYABLE WAYS TO HELP SUPPORT MAP

Volunteer Work-Study Tour In the Mangroves

AFRICA
Africa-the new frontier for the GE industry

Nigeria
Victory Over Forest Despoilers

ASIA
S.E. ASIA
Thailand

ANOTHER ACTIVIST’S MURDER (For shrimp farms)

Exposing society’s master criminal

Burma

Conservation programs seek to preserve vital mangrove

West Papua

The Tangguh gas project: what hope for human rights

S. ASIA
India

Plans for Ship Canal Between India and Stri Lanka Grave Concern

Bangladesh

Viral epidemic hits Bagerhat shrimp hatcheries

Govt to reform Sundarbans Bio-diversity Project

International Workshop on Collective Strategies for the Conservation of Livelihood Sustenance in the Sundarbans

22pc of cultivable land in coastal areas salinity affected

Conservation of Forest Biodiversity, Traditional Knowledge,

Man-eater on the prowl

LATIN AMERICA
Honduras

March For Life Proceeds From Coast To Capitol In Honduras

NORTH AMERICA
USA

Global shrimp market in turmoil

U.S. Proposes Tariffs on Shrimp Imports

STORIES/ISSUES
Sea protection costs less than fish subsidies, says study

FISH SAID TO BE SMARTER THAN GENERALLY REALIZED

Bamboo: money that grows as you watch

Honey Production From Mangroves Can Supplement Local Incomes

JULY 22 GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST OLD WORLD BANK ORDER!

AQUACULTURE CORNER
Wild salmon prices have been hurt

Proposed fish farm creates controversy

FEATURE STORY
“Freedom for the Mangroves Day!”–The 26th of July, A Global Call For Action:

PLEASE Join Us Wherever You Are For The 26th of July

We are now collecting news about other planned events for the global call for action to “Free the Mangroves!” on July 26th. Please write us to share your own plans for this international day for the mangroves!

A CALL FOR GLOBAL ACTION ON JULY 26th, THE DAY OF THE MANGROVES!: MAP wishes to lend our full support to the plans and actions presented here by FUNDECOL in their recent call for Global Action on July 26th, 2004. We ask that you and/ or your organizations please join us all in a global protest against the ongoing incarceration of the mangrove forest ecosystems and the local communities that depend upon the mangroves for their lives and livelihoods. Please send us your regional or local plans for actions that are meant to commemorate this international Day for the Mangroves! We would like to again share your plans and ideas with our international network. We look forward to hearing from you soon in this regards! (The Editor)

=======

Campaign 26th of July,

Day of the Defense of the Mangroves

“FREEDOM FOR THE MANGROVES”

Kidnapped mangroves by shrimp farms

Partners,

We are about to celebrate once more the 26th of July, Day of the Defense of the Mangrove Ecosystem. As last year, we wish that this day will be commemorated in the international, regional and national levels.

* “Freedom for the Mangroves”

Freedom for the mangroves is a symbolic name that urges to “liberate” the mangroves that are illegally destroyed and suffocated by the dams of the shrimp ponds that forbid the natural exchange of brackish and fresh waters.

Freedom for the mangroves jailed by industrial shrimp infrastructure that bans their normal development and exchange of energy, and finally

Freedom for the areas that have been destroyed and need to be reestablished to their original ecosystem.

Under the slogan “Freedom for the Mangroves”, this year 2004′s campaign that commemorates the 26th of July, is committed to strengthen the local organizational processes and to generate favorable public opinion for the defense and community management of the mangroves. It is also dedicated to the development of alliances with organizations and institutions in the regional and international level to accomplish the mission of recovery, protection and conservation of this very valuable natural resource, especially through the reversion of the illegal and abandoned shrimp ponds to their original mangrove ecosystem.

Actions that will take place

In Ecuador the following activities will take place during the campaign “Freedom for the Mangroves”:

On the 26th of July, a national event will take place in the city of Bahia de Caraquez. A massive demonstration of the traditional users of the mangrove ecosystem of the entire Ecuadorian coast will happen in support to this province, which is the most devastated region of the country because of the effects of the indiscriminate destruction of the mangroves due to the construction of infrastructure for the industrial shrimp aquaculture and other industrial activities such as industrial tourism.

The big celebration during the Day of the Mangroves will gather ancestral users of the mangroves of the entire Ecuadorian coast in Bahia de Caraquez as well as the local and national mass media. During this day, the following activities will take place:

* A national festival for the mangroves with:

o A mangrove forum

o Artistic and cultural presentations from each province

o Stands from the different organizations

o Promotion of the community management of the mangroves

* Reforestation of mangroves in an abandoned shrimp pond located near Bahia de Caraquez. This will count with the community participation of the traditional users of the mangrove ecosystem from the entire Ecuadorian coast and the attendance of the local, regional and national mass media.

During this happening the slogan of this year’s campaign “Freedom for the mangroves” will guide strictly the activities by giving back the life to an incarcerated mangrove forest jailed by the disordered industrial shrimp aquaculture.

In the previous days, in each of the provinces will take place community celebrations that will involve: cultural, artistic and sport activities, local festivals and forums around the mangroves. Moreover, with the community participation and the support of students from schools and universities massive reforestations of mangroves will occur.

At the same time, during the 25th and 30th of July, we will attend the Social Forum of the Americas that will take place in the city of Quito, and we will insert the issue of the mangroves during this event.

We invite you to incorporate to this year’s festival of the 26th of July by proposing activities and actions in the different counties for the “Freeedom of the Mangroves”.

Yours truly,

Lider Gongora F.

President C-Condem

costamanglar@hotmail.com

Executive Secretary Redmanglar

redmanglar@redmanglar.org

======

NIGERIA JOINS CALL TO ACTION ON JULY 26TH!

CHEDRES WOULD LIKE TO MARK THE OCCASION ON JULKY 26TH THROUGH a COURSTESY CALL TO MBO L.GA. CHAIRMAN IN AKWA IBOM ON THE NEED TO SENSITISE HIS PEOPLE TO PROTECT THE MANGROVE

ECOSYSTEM. MBO L.G.A IS ONE OF THE SIX OIL-RICH LOCAL GOVERMENT AREAS OF AKWA IBOM, AND IS VERY RICH WITH

MANGROVES. WE WILL ORGANAZIE AN ENVIRONMENT HEALTH SEMINAR AND A MANGROVE ECOSYSTEM TOUR BY SPEED BOAT

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ISSUES WILL BE COMBINED WITH LOCAL COMMUNITY HEALTH AND WELFARE ISSUES. COMMUNITY DEWORMING SERVICES WILL BE RENDERED TO SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN IN THIS WETLAND L.G.A IN CLOSE COLLABORATION WITH THE HEALTH UNIT OF

THE L.G.A.

Felix Ukam Ngwu -Project Director

Centre for Health works, Development

and Research (CHEDRES)

Calabar, Cross River State Nigeria

chedres@yahoo.co.uk

———-

July 26th Action Planned in Recife, Brazil

We have been working in the school in Recife, Brazil. I have been planning with teachers to do a big project to collect trash in the mangrove reserve in Itamaraca, PE. I am a reseacher, having worked in this reserve about one year. We now have had some problems because the business proprietor there has built a barrier because he doesn’t want the fishermen’s boats near his propriety. So, now the river water has some difficulty to enter the mangrove.

This area was a shirmp farm in the past, and a natural regrowth of plants was before possible there, but with this new barrier it will not grow like before. We want to do a protest because we want this landowner to demolish the barrier.

Thank you for keeping information about mangrove action in the world,

Sincerily,

Lourinalda Silva

From: “Lourinalda Silva” silvalourinalda@hotmail.com

MAP WORKS
Emergency Appeal to Rebuild A Center

Twister stikes the Coastal Community Resource Center at Kuala Indah, North Sumatera – None Injured.

As many readers of the Mangrove Action News may know, MAP, in partnership with the Sumateran NGO’s JALA and P3MN have worked together to carry out two of MAP’s keystone programs in 2004. These programs, the creation of a Coastal Community Resource Center and the hosting of the 10th In the Hands of the Fisherfolks’ Workshop were completed at the end of May 2004.

The illustrated report is currently in the layout stage, and we are sure that readers of the report will agree that the programs were successful in many ways. Indeed the evaluations of both activities by participants show that they highly regarded both programs.

But before you have a chance to see the pictures, and read the proceedings, we have some sad news to report related to the Coastal Community Resource Center.

This center was built in the village of Kuala Indah in order to host the IHOF workshop, and more permanently to be used by the local community for weekly fisherfolk meetings, education and economic programs.

The building was built using local materials, coconut wood, and a Nypah palm thatch roof, in a traditional style raised up on cement and stone piers. The building site was donated by a local landowner and fisherfolk leader, and was situated at the edge of the village, which was once a mangrove forest. The mangrove forest was disturbed a decade back due to the development of shrimp ponds adjacent to the village by a foreign owner. Thus, this selected site is situated next to an artificial set of dike walls and a deep channel which have robbed the mangrove forest of natural tidal influx over the years. Nonetheless high tides do inundate our building site, hence building on top of the cement piers.

At the IHOF workshop, we began to discuss the concept of restoring some of the original hydrology to the area near the CCRC, with the goal of rehabilitating some of the disturbed mangrove.

But these plans will have to wait. A few weeks ago, North Sumatra experienced 4 days of high winds and storms. The storms were so severe that they kept the villagers of Kuala Indah up through the entire night for all four nights. On the fourth night disaster struck. A twister (perhaps a water spout) was sited along the coast and headed directly for the CCRC. With only the shrimp ponds between the ocean and the Center, there was nothing in the way to deflect the high winds. The roof and posts of the CCRC, attached to the floor and pilings with traditional large wood pins did not withstand the winds, and were uprooted and landed on a neighboring house.

Fortunately no on was injured. The house next door was ruined. Fault is being placed on both the unusually strong winds/water spout and the lack of experience of the architect in fastening the building more securely. At the time, the use of traditional architecture was very much supported by the villagers, the traditional leader even cried during the dedication of the building which brought back memories of the buildings of his youth. But all in all no one is holding the NGO’s or architect directly responsible. The community was aware of the plans to build the CCRC and it was the community who chose the building location and style, and supplied the laborers.

The complex’s foundation/piers, floor, fuel-efficient palm sugar cook-stove, and public restrooms are still perfectly in tact. The community does want to see the CCRC rebuilt. They are excited about the future programs that will be held at the CCRC and the benefit the CCRC is already providing for the community.

But, first things first. The house that was next door to the CCRC needs to be rebuilt. It was a rudimentary house, and the cost involved is not that high. The local community has already donated a substantial amount of labor and materials to fix the house.

Estimates of the total costs of fixing the house and the CCRC are being prepared this week. In the next MAP news we will print these estimates. We feel that $1000 for each building, or about $2000 total will be sufficient to fix the house and redesign and build the CCRC, employing an engineer to recalculate stress/load etc. We will use steel bolts and braces for the new CCRC, and a lower roof design, and also attempt to plant some fast growing bamboo species and other trees on the dike walls opposite the CCRC as a wind break.

We are asking our readership for donations to rebuild the village house and the CCRC. $20 here and there, and some large donations should cover it.

From the U.S. these checks can be mailed to:

Alfredo Quarto, Executive Director

Mangrove Action Project

PO Box 1854

Port Angeles, WA 98362-0279
USA

phone/ fax (360) 452-5866

mangroveap@olympus.net

———-

Bamboo Furniture Making Workshop Success

There is good indication that the bamboo furniture workshop that MAP co-sponsored last year at Tiwoho’s Coastal Communities Resource Center will have long lasting impacts. Only 5 months later, the bamboo furniture makers ordered 30 kilograms of rattan string from the bamboo trainers here in Java. The rattan is harvested in Kalimantan, and the product that IKEA and Pier One don’t take gets shipped to Java for processing into rattan string. The group uses the rattan string to cover up unsightly bamboo joints.

This is the 3rd order the recently formed village cooperative group have placed by themselves, and the orders are consistently 20 kg which makes about 100 pieces of furniture. They are paying for themselves, not subsidized by grants etc. This is of course an indication that purchasing orders continue to be placed and the group is saving enough money to buy raw materials (bamboo and rattan string) to keep producing. We hope to find a better way for the group to purchase the rattan string. You can’t make high quality string yourself, as this needs factory machining, the material available locally in Sulawesi is not good enough and that affects the quality and price of the furniture. This is why the group is opting to buy from Java for the time being. Although it is more expensive, the selling price of the furniture is substantially higher.

We hear there is a grassroots rattan network in Samarinda, Kalimantan making high quality string and furniture themselves without selling their raw materials to IKEA, and we want to try and connect this group to our furntirue makers to buy direct. By coincidence several Tiwoho villagers are currently living and working in Samarinda and can make regular shipments back to Sulawesi, but we are having trouble contacting the grassroots rattan workers network.

In related news we have 375 bamboo seedlings on the way to Sulawesi for our arrival next week, and wil begin a reforestation program with the vilalgers of Tiwoho.

From: “Benjamin Brown”

———-

New Website On Mangrove Restoration Launched

Robin Lewis would like to announce the opening of the web page www.mangroverestoration.com and the availability of the paper:

Stevenson, N. J., R. R. Lewis and P. R. Burbridge. 1999. Disused shrimp ponds and mangrove rehabilitation. Pages 277-297 in “An International Perspective on Wetland Rehabilitation”, W. J. Streever (Ed.). Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands. 338 pp.

at:Mangrove Restoration

Hard copies may be reqested from: SherryCapaz@aol.com

———-

ANNOUNCEMENT: Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration training workshop

The third “Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop will be held at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, in Hollywood, Florida, USA, 21-24 February 2005. The training site is within a 500 ha mangrove restoration project at West Lake Park operated by Broward County. The award-winning project was designed by Roy R. “Robin” Lewis III, who will be teaching the course.

The workshop includes an introduction to mangrove forest ecology, management options and problems, and restoration design issues. The class programs are all given in a PowerPoint format, and each student is provided with a print out of the presentation and additional handouts including monitoring reports for typical restoration projects. Case studies of 5 successful mangrove restoration projects, and several unsuccessful projects, are discussed. Field trips are taken within the 500 ha West Lake Park mangrove restoration project (now 16 years old) and a new project just two years old, for a comparison.

The emphasis is on cost-effective successful mangrove management and restoration, and cost figures for typical projects are discussed and explained. The hydrologic restoration of mangroves is emphasized as the best approach to successful restoration at minimal cost (see Erftemeijer and Lewis 2000, Lewis 1999, 2000a, 2000b, Lewis and Marshall 1998, Lewis and Streever 2000, Stevenson et. al 1999, and Turner and Lewis 1997, for further discussion about hydrologic restoration of mangroves). Planting of mangroves is discussed in light of the many failures of this alone to successfully restore mangroves.

Cost for the course not including travel to Ft. Lauderdale, lodging or food is $650, due by January 1, 2005. Two qualified students will be allowed to attend for free. This course is taught in conjunction with the Mangrove Action Project.

More information can be provided by Sherry Capaz at

and www.mangroverestoration.com.

From: LESrrl3@aol.com

=====

ENJOYABLE WAYS TO HELP SUPPORT MAP

MAP’s Art Gallery Website

Visit the Website of Chilean artist Monica Gutierrez-Quarto to view her gallery café of beautiful prints and paintings.

“I’m happy to introduce my gallery web site. www.gutierrez-Quartogallery.com

Please pass on to others to help increase the visibility A percentage of all sales generated via my website will go towards supporting the good work of Mangrove Action Project.”

For More Information, Please Contact: “monica gutierrez-quarto”

———-

Please Donate Your Frequent Flyer Miles To MAP!

Please consider helping MAP meet those demands for our presence at certain conferences and workshops whereby our greatest cost to attend important events is airfare, which often holds us back from attending important fora where MAP’s presence should be felt.

Please donate your frequent flyer miles to MAP so we can be in the right place at the right time to present MAP’s needed voice at such fora where too often the grassroots voice for the local communities and for the mangroves is not heard.

If you wish to donate your frequent flyer miles, please contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net.

Your help in this important matter will be much appreciated!

———-

Take A Coffee Break For the Mangroves!

Mangrove Action Project

and Grounds for Change

Help support the Mangrove Action Project through the purchase of Grounds for Change triple-certified coffee! Grounds for Change will donate 10% of purchase price to the Mangrove Action Project each time you make a purchase at the Grounds for Change web site. It’s a great way to support socially and environmentally-conscious coffee and healthy mangrove forests across the globe.

You can participate in one of two ways:

1. Visit the Mangrove Action Project web site and click on the DONATE TO MAP THROUGH YOUR NEXT CUP OF COFFEE link.

Or, Click on

2. Grounds for change website

You will then be directed to the Grounds for Change web site.

Grounds for Change sells only Fair Trade, Organic, Shade-Grown coffee which is roasted by hand, to-order at their family owned facility on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. Grounds for Change is a member of TransFair USA, the Songbird Foundation and the Fair Trade Federation. Grounds for Change further supports fair trade economics by donating 1% of profits to the Fair Trade Federation.

Please note that in order for the 10% donation to be made to MAP, supporters must follow one of the two options outlined above.

From mangroveap@olympus.net

———-

Volunteer Work-Study Tour In the Mangroves

MAP Volunteer Work Study/Eco-Tour for Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Oct. 1-10, 2004

A mangrove-restoration and sea turtle conservation project on the Caribbean coast of Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico is being planned for Oct. 1-10, 2004. Depending upon interest and numbers of volunteers, this tour will help restore degraded mangroves and help rescue or care for threatened baby sea turtles, as well as explore the unique cenote and extensive reef ecosystems of the region, as well as visit the nearby Mayan ruins and beautiful beaches. Please join MAP and local volunteers from the surrounding communities in undertaking important beach cleanup and restoration work in paradise setting now threatened by short-sighted development. And, please join us at a three day workshop that deals with important and timely ecological and social justice issues.

MAP will be co-sponsoring this tour with the local NGO, SAVE, in Mexico. At least 10 volunteers are needed to firm up plans for this tour.

For more information, please contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net

AFRICA
Africa-the new frontier for the GE industry

The Genetic Engineering (GE) industry is facing a shrinking global market as more and more countries adopt biosafety laws and GE labeling regulations. Moreover, as a result of widespread and mounting consumer rejection and the difficulties experienced by Monsanto in obtaining regulatory approval of its GE wheat, it has decided to pull out of the European cereal market.

Africa and Asia are the new frontiers for exploitation by the agro-chemical, seed and GE corporations. The potential for US agri-business to profit from hunger in Africa through, ostensibly the provision of food aid, technical assistance, capital investment, agricultural research and the funding of biosafety initiatives are enormous.

The United State’s Agency for International Development (USAID) is at the forefront of a US marketing campaign to introduce GE food into the developing world. It has made it clear that it sees its role as having to “integrate biotechnology into local food systems and spread the technology through regions in Africa.” <#_edn1>[1]Through USAID, in collaboration with the GE industry and several groups involved in GE research in the developed world, the US government is funding various initiatives aimed at biosafety regulation and decision-making in Africa, which if successful, will put in place weak biosafety regulation and oversight procedures.

These biosafety initiatives are designed to harmonise Africa’s biosafety laws with those of South Africa’s. South Africa’s Genetically Modified Organisms Act is a poor example of biosafety regulation.<#_edn2>[2] It is in effect, merely a permitting system designed to expedite GM imports into the country and releases into the environment. It specifically mandates that biosafety risk assessment involve no more than a paper audit, which entails a review of the ‘safety’ information generated by the corporations during product development.

USAID is also investing heavily in funding various GE research projects in a bid to take control of African agricultural research.<#_edn3>[3]

Biosafety under threat

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety finally came into force, after years of negotiation, on the 11 September 2003. This international binding environmental agreement is specifically designed to protect human health, the environment and biodiversity from the risks posed by GMOs. It was countries from the South, and the African group in particular, that consistently championed biosafety and won the right for importing countries to ban or severely restrict imports of GMOs in the face of scientific uncertainty, based on the precautionary principle, as sanctioned by the Protocol.

To date, 65 countries have ratified the Protocol, with many more ratifications expected before the first Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol takes place February 2004, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia<#_edn4>[4]. Only 18 countries in Africa have so far ratified the Protocol<#_edn5>[5] but many more could be persuaded to do so, in order for them to qualify for one or other of the numerous biosafety capacity building initiatives taking place on the continent.

The hard earned victories won under the Biosafety Protocol are under serious threat from these GE ‘biosafety’ initiatives. These initiatives are designed to thwart the development of sound biosafety policies and laws. There is an ever present danger that African countries will be overwhelmed by the volley of technical experts they are peppered with by USAID and biotech industry money and expertise, that they will succumb, despite their valid concerns, to these formidable forces.

The fad is the drafting of national biosafety frameworks. The implementation of the Biosafety Protocol has been seized upon and exploited by proponents of GE, as an opportunity to promote and weak and ineffective legal regimes and redirect capacity building in biotechnology rather than biosafety in an attempt to garner much needed support for this dangerous technology.

Influential proponents of GE especially from South Africa have become more sophisticated and better resourced in their promotion of GE in Africa, often citing the following as impediments to the acceptance of GE ‘rapid introduction of genetically modified crops, in spite of their potential positive impact on agricultural production and food security. Constraints include a lack of capacity to evaluate risk and make decisions; lack of funding and political will to implement appropriate regulatory processes, concern over the role of multinational companies and the loss of control by Africans over their own resources.”<#_edn6>[6]

From: “ECOTERRA Intl.”

———-

Nigeria

Victory Over Forest Despoilers

Greetings from ABGREMO to you all.
I hope for those of us in Calabar today, we have heard
on the New that Governor Don Duke has bound the
Foriegn Wood Company(the Almighty WEMPCO) from
operating in the state. with this it has given us hope
that the last remaing paart of the Unique rainforest
of Cross River State is a little bit at rest.
Lets Join hands with the Governor to ensure that the
This gaint does not return back to the forest of Cross
River state, Nigeria. Also let see how other smaller
companies can be bound too.
I think this credits also goes to all of us who has in one way or the other campaign for the protection of
this unique Forest in view of it Significant to the World Forest.

Lets also keep on advocating for similar protection
for the Cross River state Mangrove forest.
Yours in forest protection

Edem Okon Edem
Programme Coordinator
ABGREMO, Nigeria
From: Ekpenyong Effiong

ASIA
S.E. ASIA
Thailand

Bangkok Post June 23, 2004

.ANOTHER ACTIVIST’S MURDER (For shrimp farms)

Govt pressured to supervise probe

Cannot trust local police, villagers say

Post reporters

Villagers and human rights activists say they cannot trust local police to investigate the murder of Charoen Wat-aksorn, an opponent of the Bo Nok power plant project, who was slain on Monday night.

They urged the government to let the Justice Ministry or the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) handle the case.

His wife, Korn-uma Pongnoi, demanded that the government bring the murderer to justice within 100 days or she and local people would cremate Mr Charoen’s body in front of Government House.

“Before my husband was killed two days ago, he told me that if he died, to take his body to Government House,” she said.

Mr Charoen, who led the Love Bo Nok Group in campaigning against construction of two coal-fired power plants, was shot dead on his way home after testifying before the Senate committee on social development and human security and the House committee on counter- corruption on the alleged malfeasance of local land officials.

He had accused the officials of trying to issue title deeds covering 53 rai of public land in tambon Bo Nok of Muang district to Phuan Wanwongsa, allegedly a local “influential person”.

He also accused many more government officials and influential figures of encroaching on public land.

Mr Charoen’s relatives and villagers yesterday took his body to the Justice Ministry to demand a speedy and fair investigation from the Special Investigation Department (SID)….

========

Bangkok Post July 3, 2004

CHAROEN MURDER

‘Key evidence’ found at bank

Police say suspects admitted to shooting

Chaiwat Sadyaem

Police say they have obtained key evidence which will shed light on the murder of environmental activist Charoen Wat-aksorn, while a search continues on encroached land and the houses of 11 encroachers to find more evidence linked to the killing.

A source said police from the Central Investigation Bureau had found 100,000 baht had been withdrawn from Krung Thai Bank’s Kui Buri branch by a local politician on June 21, the day when Mr Charoen was gunned down. Mr Charoen led protests against two power plant projects in Prachuap Khiri Khan. Before he was murdered. He was also leading protests against the issuing of a title deed for a 53-rai plot of public land at tambon Bor Nok in Muang district to Phuan Wanwongsa, who planned to sell it to a businessman. He also protested against encroachment on another 931 rai of land by prawn and crab farmers in the same area.

The activist was killed hours after he and another local leader had spoken to a senate committee about the land disputes.

Police from the Forestry Police Division and the CIB inspected encroached land covering 931 rai in the area and found that it was illegally occupied by 11 people, including former local leaders and local politicians, who had turned the land into prawn and crab farms.

They included Jua Hinkaew, former kamnan of tambon Bo Nok, Pradit Sa-nguanla-ied and Manot Hinkaew, respectively a Prachuap Khiri Khan provincial councillor and son of Mr Jua.

The police and land officials also surveyed 180 rai of land of Mr Sompong, and raided an encroacher’s house.

Mr Sompong denied encroaching on pubic land and said he had bought it for nine million baht and was in the process of appealing to the court for a land ownership document for his plot.

The lower court ruled that a land ownership paper could not be issued for the plot as it was part of public land. He said he bought the land legally and deserved the land ownership paper.

Pol Maj-Gen Sawek Pinsinchai, the forestry police chief, said a survey would be conducted on all plots to find out which ones were on public land.

Pol Lt-Gen Pichit Khuandechakupt, the assistant national police chief, said the two suspects _ Saneh Lekluan, and Prachuap Hinkaew, a nephew of Mr Jua _ had confessed to the killing.

Investigators had seized pistols thrown away after Mr Charoen was shot.

Today about 500 non-governmental organisations, environmentalists, academics, and labour unionists will turn up at Sanam Luang to mark the activist’s death.

======

COMMENTARY

Exposing society’s master criminal

Sanitsuda Ekachai

A suspect has been arrested in the murder of grassroots activist Charoen Wat-aksorn. But the mother of all public land grabbers is still at large: the government.

Normally we think of public land grabbers as private speculators who use their money and political influence to seize common land through corrupt deals with land officials. Though this is a widespread phenomenon, it is peanuts compared to what the authorities are doing _ using the law to legitimise the state theft of local communities’ common land on a massive scale.

An example is the century-old law which shifts the ownership and management of forests from local people to the Forestry Department. This draconian law declares that any land not covered by title deeds belongs to the Forestry Department. Consequently, countless rightful land owners _ many of them aborigines _ have been made encroachers subject to eviction and imprisonment.

The rich, meanwhile, buy their way with impunity into scenic forests and seaside areas which were common land.

The government also allows state agencies such as the military and Treasury Department to own massive plots of land which remain largely idle amid the severe problem of landlessness.

Mining laws allow investors to destroy the environment while damaging people’s health and the sources of their livelihood. Mines and quarries are usually located in remote areas where lawlessness rules. Many who have dared protest _ like Charoen _ have been gunned down, and their killers remain free.

Another legal way for the government to steal people’s common land is its policy of building mega-dams and power plants to serve the big cities’ insatiable thirst for energy despite the environmental devastation on the ground.

The state’s ruthless plunder of common land has given rise to nationwide grassroots movements, one of which was led by Charoen. To avoid nationwide civil unrest, the 1997 constitution endorses communities’ right to co-manage their natural resources, be they land, forests, rivers, minerals or the sea.

Sadly, this constitutional right is in letter only. The community forest bill _ the first-ever piece of legislation sponsored by the people _ was crippled.

The Thaksin administration refuses to issue organic laws which put community rights into action. It also uses its total control over the state media to demonise civic groups and grassroots movements, and to block the people’s voice from reaching a wider public. In addition, the government showers local communities with taxpayers’ money while promising villagers endless policy goodies in exchange for their political allegiance.

And worse is to come.

To start with, local fishermen might not be able to fish freely in coastal waters for much longer. The government plans to privatise coastal waters, dividing them into plots for private investment.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra also recently floated the idea of turning all common land into state property _ a challenge to the constitution, which demands local consent for all policies that affect communities. Since The Leader’s word is sacred command, villagers might be in for a big shock.

The government insists that turning common land into state property will better protect the land from encroachment. This is a farce. The reality on the ground consistently shows that if it is not corrupt officials who help investors steal common land, it is almost always government mega-projects the villagers are fighting.

So if Mr Thaksin’s idea is realised, it will legalise the massive theft of local communities’ natural resources.

If Charoen were still alive, he would fight fiercely against this plan to steal common land. And that is what we all should do if, like Charoen, we know who the real criminal is robbing the people.

- Sanitsuda Ekachai is Assistant Editor, Bangkok Post. sanitsudae@bangkokpost.co.th

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Burma

Myanmar Times, Jume, 2004

Conservation programs seek to preserve vital mangrove forests

By Kerry Howley and Khin Hninn Phyu

Villagers entering a mangrove forest in the Ayeyarwaddy Delta. Several organisations are working with communities in the delta to conserve mangrove forests.

ORGANISATIONS involved in projects to preserve Myanmar’s rapidly diminishing mangrove forests have highlighted the vital role they play in coastal and marine ecosystems.

“Three-fourths of the world’s tropical marine catch depends on mangrove forests for food or habitat during some stage of life,” said U Ohn, the general secretary of the Forest Resource Development and Conservation Association, a non-government organisation founded by former employees of the Forest Department.

FREDA and other organisations involved in conservation efforts say the rate at which mangrove forests are disappearing is having a serious effect on coastal habitats.

U Ohn said the depletion of mangroves has affected fishermen and others who rely on the forests to make a living.

He said marine species such as catfish and crabs that feed off a food chain dependent on mangrove habitats have disappeared from areas where the forests have been destroyed.

The removal of mangroves also affects other species.

“Vital habitats have been permanently lost for fish, molluscs, and crustaceans, as well as numerous birds, migratory species and endangered,” U Ohn said in a report titled The Blue Revolution and Ecological Disaster, published by FREDA in 2003.

The loss of mangroves also leaves coastal areas more vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters.

Mr Alfredo Quarto, the executive director of the US-based Mangrove Action Project, says the forests help to protect coastal areas from storm damage.

“The effects of storms are more deleterious for the coastal regions when the mangrove buffer zone in damaged or removed. The effects include storm damage to inland crops and property, coastal erosion and sedimentation offshore,” he said in an email message.

While the destruction of mangrove habits is a global issue, it is most evident in Southeast Asia, said Mr Shiro Arai, an environmental consultant for the Japanese government’s overseas aid agency, JICA.

“In surrounding countries this kind of delta-area natural mangrove vegetation has almost disappeared except in project implementation areas,” Mr Arai said.

He said the greatest threat to mangroves throughout the world is a type of shrimp farming that prevents tidal fluctuations from reaching the shore, thereby preventing the trees from obtaining nourishment.

“This kind of extractive activity won’t last long,” he said.

“Sooner or later people and nature will suffer.”

A British-based NGO, the Environmental Justice Foundation, says in a report titled Farming the Sea, Costing the Earth, that the US$50 billion shrimp farming industry is responsible for the destruction of 38 per cent of the world’s mangroves.

The report says most aquaculture takes place in developing countries with the support of international aid organisations and governments.

U Ohn says coastal land used for aquaculture is often abandoned after a few years, but mangrove forests cannot recover from shrimp farming as they can from paddy cultivation.

“When the fisheries abandon that area, we cannot reforest. That is the danger,” he said.

The Forest Department responded to the problem of mangrove depletion in 1995 by launching the Community Forest Initiative, a program that grants land use rights to individuals for a 30 year period on condition that they reforest the land with mangroves while using the land for agricultural purposes.

U Ohn says that 14 villages in Ayeyarwaddy Division’s Bogalay township are participating in the program. FREDA has distributed 600 hectares of land for reforesting and U Ohn says villagers affected by coastal erosion have requested help from the program.

A team of 12 FREDA staff provide support with technical expertise, mangrove seedlings and supervision.

With funding from the Japanese non-government organisation, ACTMANG, U Ohn says he hopes to extend the program to three more villages in July.

“We have to take the mission to villages and let them speak up and listen and decide what we can do,” he said.

JICA, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, has spent the past four years preparing a detailed study on enlisting community cooperation to preserve mangrove forests in the Ayeyarwaddy Delta.

The study, which covers the five townships, forms part of a comprehensive 20-year plan to reforest a 200,000 hectare area.

“We are looking for a meeting point between the government and the people’s needs,” said Mr Arai.

JICA, which has also initiated mangrove reforestation projects in Indonesia, Oman, and Bangladesh, is launching its second pilot program to generate feedback regarding the plan’s methods.

Mr Tajima Makato, JICA’s country representative in Myanmar, says the 20-year master plan is meant to be adopted by delta communities for the long term.

“We have to institutionalise the system,” he said.

“Maybe you can do one project here and there, you can make a short term successful one time case, but if it’s not put in the system it won’t last long.”

From: “Kerry Howley”

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Note: In 1991, of the 4.2 million hectares of mangrove forests left in Indonesia, 2.9 million hectares were located in West Papua.

West Papua

An Excerpt From “Down to Earth” No. 60, February 2004

The Tangguh gas project: what hope for human rights protection in a worsening political climate?

With the political context worsening and militarisation in West Papua increasing, BP’s commitments to human rights and its ‘community-based security policy’- look more and more flimsy.

In 2003, West Papua continued to suffer the impacts of Indonesian military repression. The resumption of all-out war in Aceh and the threat of follow-up action in West Papua, confirmed the re-emergence of the military (TNI) as a dominant force in national politics and its practice of silencing pro-independence voices by force. During the year there was mounting concern over the build-up of TNI-backed militias in West Papua, the sustained targeting of human rights defenders and brutal military “sweepings” in highland villages…..

…The TNI is widely believed to be actively fomenting violence in West Papua and perpetuating the bloodshed in Aceh in order to maintain and increase their control over security policy in Jakarta. Violent incidents, blamed on ‘separatists’ who threaten the republic’s ‘territorial integrity’ are instigated in order to lead Indonesian public opinion towards the need for a strong political role for the military as a bulwark against national disintegration. Attempts to ‘break up’ Indonesia are being blamed on outsiders: in January this year army chief of staff Gen. Ryamizard Ryacudu warned that Indonesia may lose Papua and Aceh due to a foreign conspiracy, and that ‘separatism’ could claim the lives of up to 30 million people.

Since the decision to give up the military’s direct involvement in national, provincial and district parliaments – after the April 2004 parliamentary elections – the motivation to use conflicts in Aceh and West Papua as leverage has become stronger. They can act in these territories with near impunity. Although seven Kopassus officers received light prison sentences for killing pro-independence PDP leader Theys Eluay in 2001, many other crimes have not even been investigated. In January 2004 the national human rights commission, Komnas HAM said that it would be taking up just two of seven major human rights incidents proposed for investigation in West Papua.

A second, strong motivation for the TNI to maintain its heavy presence, is access to Papua’s rich natural resources and opportunities to reap financial rewards from logging, mining, fisheries and protection businesses (see DTE 57 for more on this).

Not surprisingly, the militarisation of West Papua has continued, with troop numbers increasing to around ten thousand in 2003, up from an estimated 4,350 troops in 2002(2). Police numbers are also going up – early in 2004 it was announced that an extra 3,000 police would be sent to West Papua to safeguard the April elections. NGOs fear a harder line approach from the police too, now that Col.Timbul Silaen has been appointed police chief for Papua. Silaen was in charge of police operations in East Timor during the run-up to the August 1999 referendum, when military-backed pro-integration militias were permitted to terrorise the population. He has been indicted on crimes against humanity charges by East Timor’s Serious Crimes Unit.

An increase of 2,000 troops announced in August 2003 was in response to protests against the splitting of West Papua into 3 provinces, specifically against the creation of ‘Central Irian Jaya’ which was declared in Timika on August 23rd 2003. During clashes between supporters of the new province and opponents, five people were killed and at least 50 were injured. As a result, Jakarta postponed the decision, but did not cancel it. The 3-way split into West, Central and East Irian Jaya is a long term project of the military designed to undermine the pro-independence movement and offers the potential for yet more militarisation. This policy, which the security forces have promoted since the 1980s and which President Habibie sought to revive in 1999, contradicts the softer approach to dealing with pro-independence Papuans represented by Special Autonomy measures. These were supposed to be introduced from January 2002, but have not materialised, due to obstruction from Jakarta.

Despite some concern expressed by foreign governments, Indonesia’s brutal treatment of Papuans who wish to exercise their long-denied right to self-determination, has not changed one bit. The British government, like most other foreign governments which backed special autonomy as the only solution in Aceh and West Papua, has failed to express any public disappointment about Indonesia’s failure to implement it. Instead it has focused on its own overriding foreign policy objective: trade and investment. Ignoring warnings from NGOs, Britain approved a massive increase in the sale of arms to Indonesia – from GBP 2 million in 2000 to GBP 41 million in 2002. In West Papua, the British government is supporting BP’s investment to the hilt: Ambassador Richard Gozney attended a meeting to discuss the company’s security policy. As outlined by TIAP (see box), the British aid agency, DfID, is involved with BP and other donors in joint projects in the Bird’s Head region of West Papua aimed at long term sustainable growth and local government capacity-building in the region – all of which support a stable investment environment for Tangguh.

While British companies benefit from this kind of trade and investment, Papuans continue to suffer from more militarisation, military operations, the environmental impacts of rampant resource exploitation and the health effects which go along with these, such as AIDS, which has become a very serious problem in the territory.

Against this background, the exploitation of West Papua’s natural resources has continued apace. The US/UK owned Freeport mine in the central mountains was removing rock-bearing ore at a rate of over 200,000 tonnes per day – until the October pit collapse in which six mineworkers were killed slowed production levels temporarily (see DTE 59). A further landslip – with no casualties – was reported in December.

The plunder of the forests is also continuing as more logging companies move eastward from the logged out forests of Kalimantan, Sumatra and Sulawesi. The Indonesian NGO Forest Watch Indonesia reckons that about 60,000 cubic meters of timber was smuggled out of Papua during August/September alone and that another 600,000 cubic meters were traded illegally over the previous year. According to FWI, foreign mafias have entered the country via cooperatives supported by Indonesian officials.

How does the Tangguh project fit in to this deteriorating political, human rights and environmental context?

Second TIAP visit

The second annual visit of the four-member Tangguh Independent Advisory Panel took place June 13-21 2003. The team is led by US Senator George Mitchell, and has three other members: Rev. Herman Saud from West Papua, Sabam Siagan, a former Indonesian Ambassador and Lord Hannay, a crossbench peer from Britain. TIAP has the task of investigating and reporting on the non-commercial aspects of Tangguh.

The independence of TIAP is questionable, since it was set up and is funded by BP and its visits are facilitated by the company. Also, Sabam Siagan sat on the board of the mining company Kaltim Prima Coal, the giant coal mining venture co-owned by BP and Rio Tinto which is currently being sold to Indonesian interests. DTE has raised this apparent conflict of interests with TIAP, but has yet to receive a response.

While the overall conclusion of the team is that, in general, Papuans have a positive attitude towards the project, their report raises some important questions about the project’s shortcomings and potential negative impacts.

The full TIAP report and BP’s response to it initially posted on BP’s website, had been removed at the time this newsletter was printed. The first TIAP report and BP’s response remain on the site www.bp.com/ For an analysis of this, see DTE 57

Prior informed consent

One fundamental problem with Tangguh is its failure to secure the free, prior, informed consent of local communities whose lands, resources and livelihoods are affected by the project. This is common to all major resource extraction projects in Indonesia, because of Indonesia’s systematic denial of indigenous peoples’ land and resource rights. The result is that the potential for resentment against the development and for resulting conflict is far higher than if informed consent of local people had been secured in advance.

According to John Rumbiak of the Papuan human rights group ELSHAM, the denial of prior informed consent is one of the reasons behind what he calls the “dynamics of destruction and violence” in West Papua. To put an end to this, he says, the international community – particularly international investors -

“must, first and foremost, recognise indigenous communities’ basic rights to chart their own development paths, to manage their own resources, to pursue their traditional livelihoods and cultures, and to say NO to multinational operations on their lands. The failure to respect communities’ basic right to “just say no” exists at the heart of the nexus of human rights violations, environmental degradation and conflict.”

(John Rumbiak, ELSHAM, Speech to Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Human Rights, 2003)….

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S. ASIA

India

Plans to Build Ship Canal Between India and Stri Lanka Cause Grave Concern

Greetings from East Coast Research and Development.

We are celebrating WED.We have chosen the UNEP theme WANTED ! SEAS AND OCEANS ; DEAD OR ALIVE ?.

As we are based in Thoothukudi,and concerned about protecting the Gulf of Mannar from industrial pollution,coral mining,shrimp farms,and coastal sand mining.Now that ,we are worried about the proposed destructive Sethu Samudram ship canal project .We are sure that it will destroy the ecosystem ,the National Marine of Park of India.In order to save GOM from this deadly project,as the Tuticorin Port is seeking Environmental Clearance from Tamilnadu Pollution Control Board by June 15th, We have already started our letter writing campaign around 10000 letters,street meetings,distributing pamphlets,Campaigning from kanyakumari to Rameswarem and public meetings.We have raised the awareness of the people about the issue threatening the ecosystem and the livlihood of the people.

Regards,

Pushparayan.

Project Director

Excerpt from Environmental Impact Assessment for Proposed Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project

Executive Summary

1.0 Introduction

India does not have, within her own territorial waters, a continuous navigable route around the peninsula due to the presence of a shallow (1.5 to 3.5 m depth) ridge called ‘Adam’s Bridge’ between Pamban island on south-eastern coast of India and Talaimannar of Sri Lanka. While Rameshwaram is a major pilgrim centre on Pamban island the tip of the island is marked by Dhanushkody. Consequently, the ships calling at ports on the east coast of India have to go around Sri Lanka entailing an additional distance of more than 400 nautical miles and 36 hours of ship time.

The Sethusamudram Ship Canal Project under the consideration of the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India, envisages creation of a ship canal to suit different drafts (9.15 m, 10.7 m and 12.8m) through dredging/excavation in Adams Bridge and parts of Palk Bay. The navigation route will originate from the Tuticorin new harbour in the Gulf of Mannar (GOM) using available navigation depths(> 20 m) up to south east of Pamban Island, pass through a canal created in Adams Bridge within the international boundary and proceed parallel to the International Medial Line for fishing rights as the Bengal channel. In Palk Bay area availability of depths in middle channel, capital dredging across Adams Bridge and in Palk Strait and continuous maintenance dredging along the proposed transit are the critical project related issues.

The routes selected through earlier studies particularly in Gulf of Mannar area have been rejected, keeping in view sensitivity along the coastal stretch of GOM harbouring marine national park. Instead a navigation route keeping a minimum 6-8 km distance from Van Tiu near Tuticorin and about 20 km from shringle in Adams Bridge approach area has been suggested.

Tuticorin Port Trust (TPT), the nodal agency identified by Ministry of Shipping, Govt. of India for the implementation of the project in pursuance of its decision to incorporate environmental considerations in the design phase of the project, retained, in March 2002, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to conduct the Environmental Impact Assessment study for the project.

From: PUSHPARAYAN

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Bangladesh

Viral epidemic hits Bagerhat shrimp hatcheries

Farmers count Tk 100 crore in loss, 800 shrimp beds infected

The Daily Star

Shrimps and fry of about 800 hatcheries of Baroipara in Bagerhat have died due to virus infection and white spot disease, causing Tk 100 crore loss to over 6000 shrimp farmers.

Hatchery owners and workers of Baroipara village, known as ‘Mini Kuwait’ of Bangladesh, are incurring huge loss due to the epidemic-like diseases, local sources said.

Akbar Azad, president of Baroipara Shrimp Cultivators’ Welfare Association, said Bagerhat district alone has been the country’s second highest foreign exchange earner from shrimp exports since 1980.

However, the lucrative export industry of Bagerhat recently suffered a setback and is about to collapse because of the government’s indifferent attitude, he added.

He also urged the government to set up a laboratory in Bagerhat, where over 12000 acres of land is used for shrimp cultivation, to detect the nature of the disease in the hatcheries.

Local shrimp farmers also asked the authorities concerned to exempt them from bank loan interest as they lost their investment in the recent viral outbreak.

“We have been incurring huge financial loss every year since 1996 due to virus-related shrimp diseases,” said Sarder Mohiuddin, general secretary of the association.

MA Salam, vice president of Khulna unit of Bangladesh Frozen Food Exporters Association, said that the government would lose huge foreign exchange earnings from shrimp export this year due to an outbreak of white spot disease in Bagerhat.

From: zakir kibria

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Govt to reform Sundarbans Bio-diversity Project

The Daily Star

The government has decided to reform the Sundarbans Bio-diversity Conservation Projects (SBCP) as advised by the donors to develop a sustainable conservation system on the basis of environmental plan and the participation of all key stakeholders.

The reform in the SBCP will be made as per the lessons learnt from the process of implementation of the project over the last three years since 2000, said project director Dr Saiful Islam.

Environment and Forests Minister Tariqul Islam inaugurated the workshop on reformation of the SBCP at the IDB Bhaban in the city yesterday.

Tariqul underlined the importance of taking concerted regional and international efforts to protect the bio-diversity of the Sundarbans Reserve Forest (SRF).

“The Sundarbans is a pride of Bangladesh as being a world heritage in this part of the globe,” he said. But a vicious circle comprising population problem, climate change and diversion of water flows of the upstream rivers, has endangered the existence of the world’s largest mangrove, he added.

He said the SBCP was formulated very hurriedly in 2000 without any proper action plan to protect the interests of local people, arrange alternate livelihood for them and secure the integrity of the environment and bio-diversity of the SRF.

State Minister for Environment and Forests Jafrul Islam Chowdhury, Resident Representative of ADB in Bangladesh Taru Shibuchi, Secretary of the Environment and Forests Ministry Syed Tanveer Hussein, ADB consultant Dr Sanaul Mostafa, SBCP Director Dr Saiful Islam and Deputy Director Ali Kabir Haider took part in the discussion. Chief Conservator of Forests M Anwarul Islam was in the chair.

Sanaul said that the SRF with its non-wood resources, wildlife, tourism and fisheries, was not being properly managed in terms of bio-diversity conservation. That is why, the Sunderbans is facing depletion, he said.

From: Zakir Kibria

———-

International Workshop on Collective Strategies for the Conservation of Livelihood Sustenance in the Sundarbans

Venue : CSS Auditorium, Khulna

Dates : May 19 –20, 2004.

Introduction:

The Sundarban, which is a national as well as a World Heritage, is a

National Resource. But the world famous Sundarban is now endangered. As a result of natural and man-made disasters and as a long-term impact of ill-planned development activities, the lives and livelihoods of the people inhabiting the hinterland of the Sundarban have become vulnerable. The economic status of the people who had been traditionally dependent on the resources of the Sundarban is deteriorating.

In order, therefore, to identify effective strategies for sustainable

development of the people inhabiting the Impact Zone of the Sundarban, a two-day International Workshop was held at the local CSS Auditorium on May 19-20, 2004. Summaries of the findings of two research activities, one jointly by CDP and Action Aid Bangladesh titled “Livelihood issues of the rural population in the Sundarban Impact Zone” and the other by the Sundarban Chetana O Adhikar Mancha of West Bengal, India on “Issues of Livelihoods in the Sundarbans” were presented at the workshop. In six

working sessions covering two days, 11 presentations including research findings were made. Over 40 representatives from India and Bangladesh discussed the presentations in detail. At the conclusion of the workshop, a set of recommendations for the development of the lives and livelihoods of the people inhabiting the Impact Zone / hinterland of the Sundarban was adopted.

Principal Objectives of the Workshop:

1 Understanding the present status of the Livelihoods of the Inhabitants of the Sundarban Impact Zone.

2 Continuous Review of the following :

?? Bio-diversity Conservation Strategies of International Financial

Institutions;

?? All Policies being implemented nationally by the Government;

?? Peoples?? Initiatives for improving their Livelihoods.

3 Assist and cooperate with Collective Initiatives taken by the people for Sundarban

Conservation…..

The identified issues include :

1. Inadequate Service delivery

2. Inequitable Social Structure

3. Long-term impacts of Climate Change

4. Land deterioration and erosion

5. Changes in agricultural practices

6. Environmental pollution and damage to Natural Resources

7. Lack of Appropriate Technology and Infrastructure;

8. Deterioration of law and order situation;

9. Salinity in surface and ground water;

10. Limited Livelihood opportunities and inadequate economic management;

11. Natural Disasters, and

12. Management of Natural Resources without Peoples?? Participation.

For full summary, please contact Ashraf-ul-Alam Tutu, Coordinator of CDP at cdp@khulna.bangla.net

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22pc of cultivable land in coastal areas salinity affected

OBAIDUL GHANI

NewAge, July 3, 2004. Dhaka, Bangladesh

www.newagebd.com

About 187,300 hectares of reclaimed land ? 22.47 per cent of the total cultivable land ? in the coastal districts have been affected by salinity of varying degrees over the past three decades.

Salinity of 4.1-16ds/m has, meanwhile, left 730,990 hectares of land in the area completely unfit for foodgrain cultivation. Besides, 289,760 hectares of land ? where salinity ranges between 2 and 4ds/m ? yield 30-40 per cent less crops than usual.

The report on soil salinity in Bangladesh 2000, prepared by the Soil Resource Development Institute of the agriculture ministry and released in November 2003, says 1,020,750 hectares of about 70 per cent of cultivable land in the area is affected by varying degrees of salinity, up from 8,330,000 hectares in 1973.

The report attributes increasing salinity to low rainfall, withdrawal of fresh river-water upstream, introduction of brackish-water shrimp cultivation, faulty management of sluice gates, regular saline tidal water flooding in un-poldered mudflats or wetlands and upward movement of soluble salts due to presence of high-saline groundwater.

Salinity takes place in river deltas from a few kilometres up to 180 kilometres off the seacoast, the report says.

The upstream withdrawal of the Ganges water has increased salinity in the tidal river, decreased surface water availability in the rivers and canals, lowered groundwater table and reduced soil moisture content, it adds.

The availability of fresh water in the upstream plays an important role in controlling salinity intrusion. Any reduction of freshwater flow due to increased withdrawal for irrigation or any other purposes in Bangladesh or outside the country causes increase in intrusion of saline water.

The increase of water salinity has created suitable habitat for shrimp cultivation and played a major role in the increase in soil salinity, especially in south-western coastal areas.

Simultaneous cultivation of paddy and shrimp was introduced in about 1,360 hectares of high-saline areas nearly two decades ago.

In greater Khulna about 31,200 hectares of land in 1982-83 and about 98,850 hectares in 1993-94 were brought under shrimp cultivation. In 12 years, brackish-water shrimp cultivation has increased by about 215 per cent.

According to the report, salinity is a temporal situation and its effect is severe in the dry season but comparatively less in the rainy season. It also maps out five categories of saline-prone areas according to the degree of salinity.

The area covers large parts of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagerhat, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barguna, Noakhali, Feni, Lakshmipur, Narail, Jessore, Madaripur, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Barisal, Chittagong and Cox?s Bazar and also parts of the Ganges river meander and tidal floodplain, Khulna-Gopalganj peat basin, Meghna estuarine floodplain and small part of the Chittagong coastal plain.

The total cultivated area under these districts is 1,459,150 hectares.

An expert of the Soil Resource Development Institute told New Age that crop yield in these areas may decrease from 30 to 40 per cent, if salinity varies from 2 to 4ds/m and will be nil if it is more than 4ds/m. ?Only sunflower, cotton, rabi tomato, coconut and betel nut can be cultivated in these areas.?

State Minister for Agriculture Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told New Age that the salinity problem could not be solved unless water flow of the rivers was increased.

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Conservation of Forest Biodiversity, Traditional Knowledge, and Intellectual Property Rights1

Zakir Kibria2

Part 1

This paper seeks to raise a few points, albeit briefly, regarding (a) conservation of forest biodiversity and (b) ‘traditional’ knowledge in the context of Sundarban Biodiversity Conservation Project (SBCP) and it’s view that people living in or around the forest are the one responsible for erosion of forest biodiversity.3

Millions of people around the world representing great variety of cultures and plant and land uses practices live in or around the edges of the forests. In recent years, however, a large number of them have experienced increasing difficulties in gaining access to local forests and their products because of government regulations declaring common property resources into state forests, national parks, or wildlife reserves. In many forests commercial monoculture has also been promoted, fencing off parts or whole forest into private property. In many countries, plans to protect and conserve forest ecosystems have failed to pay adequate attention to needs and knowledge of the local people living in or around the edges of the forest for generations threatening the livelihood of the people.

Sundarban is the largest mangrove forest in the world; it is unique as an ecosystem.4 Strategies to conserve the forest and its biological resources are as old as the forest. Local people have been nurturing the forest for centuries. But official narratives of the history of forest conservation very often skip the role of people living in or around the forest. The history of the conservation of Sundarban is a subtext of the biography of Bangladesh as a nation state. It is a linear story from the days of the “wilderness” to Mogul Empire to British colonial rule to the formation of Bangladesh. Post liberation narratives of the conservation views it as a source of revenue for national exchequer.

Defining traditional knowledge

Conservation “specialists” have acknowledged the role of traditional knowledge and practices in forest conservation (Asare, 2002 and Colding   Folke, 1997).5 This is not to say that employing traditional knowledge alone is enough for management of forest biodiversity, but it does play an important role and it is necessary to recognize the role of traditional knowledge. Traditional knowledge refers to knowledge, innovation and practices of local communities living in a particular ecological system. Through generations of interaction with the ecology they gather knowledge on/about plants, animals, insects, microbes; for food, medicine, and other purposes. Developed from experiences gained over the centuries and adapting to the local culture and environment. Traditional knowledge is transmitted orally from generation to generation. It tends to be collectively owned and takes the form of stories, songs, folklore, proverbs, cultural values, beliefs, rituals, community laws, local languages and practices related to natural resources. Several other terms are used to describe it: indigenous knowledge, local knowledge, community knowledge, tacit knowledge etc. One point has to be highlighted: traditional knowledge is gendered. Practices and uses of natural resources vary according to the gender division of labour in a given community resulting in a gendered body of knowledge.6

Its role and value

There is today a growing appreciation of the value of traditional knowledge. This knowledge is valuable not only to those who depend on it in daily lives, but also to “modern” industry as well. Many widely used products, such as medicine, are derived from plants and microbes identified and used by local people. At least 7000 medical compounds used in western medicine are derived from plants used by local communities for centuries. The value of developing country germplasm to pharmaceutical industry in the early 1990s was estimated to be at least US $ 32 billion per year (RAFI/UNDP, 1994).

Traditional knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights

The possibilities of commercialization of traditional knowledge should lead us to the debates surrounding the intellectual property rights. Though western societies have not, in general, recognized any significant value in traditional knowledge. They usually regard the traditional knowledge under its intellectual property laws as “information” in the “public domain”, freely available for use by anybody. Moreover, in numerous cases, diverse forms of traditional knowledge have been appropriated under intellectual property rights regimes by researchers and commercial enterprises, without any compensation to the knowledge’s creator’s or possessors (RAFI/UNDP, 1994).

Bio-piracy: The case of Ayahuasca or the tip of the iceberg

Ayahuasca (Banisteriopsis Caapi) is a plant used for many medicinal and ritual purposes. Ayahuasca is the vernacular name among the Amazone Quichua people, in whose language Ayahuasca means, “vine of the spirits”. It is a sacred plant to many indigenous people of Amazonia. In 1986, after research in Ecuadorian Amazonia, a US scientist (and president of the international Plant Medicine Corporation) was granted a patent on Ayahuasca (US plant patent No. 5,751). The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had to revoke it in November 1999. The USPTO based its decision on the fact that publications describing Banisteriopsis Caapi were “known and available” prior to the filing of the patent application. The USPTO’s decision came in response to a request for reexamination of the patent by the Coordinating Body for the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazone Basin (COICA), the Coalition for Amazonian People and their Environment, and lawyers at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) (Correa, 2001).

This is only one of the numerous examples of bio-piracy (RAFI/UNDP, 1994). This is only a tip of the iceberg.

SBCP, Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights

Sundarban Biodiversity Conservation Project (SBCP) is the latest in conservation strategies for Sundarban. It has raised a few controversies. People living in and around the edges of the forest are critical about the project. SBCP does not spell out how or whether it plans to incorporate people’s knowledge in its conservation strategies. Rather it blames the local people for erosion of forest biodiversity and has lodged numerous criminal cases against them alleging theft of forest resources7. This is not new if we take into account the history of forest management in South Asia. State forest authorities have been fencing off the forest from local inhabitants declaring the forest areas as state property and private estate8 (Arnold and Guha, 1995).

What I would like to point here is that Sundarban Biodiversity Conservation Project (SBCP) has totally ignored the issue of traditional knowledge of the local people. People living in and around the Sundarban have accumulated a great body of knowledge about the plant, aquatic and animal resources of the forest. This project has specific component for research; many information it plans to document and/or already documented was collected from the people living in or around the forest. Previous research on the forest obviously collected huge information from the people living in or around the forest. But those researches very often treated the people as “sources” of information. It raises another alarming question: intellectual property rights of the collected knowledge. Do we know what is there for the bio-prospectors (read bio-pirates)? Do we know what biological samples are being collected by eco-tourists9 Do we know what medicinal plants or microbes from Sundarban have been patented by western pharmaceuticals? Or will be patented in the coming years? Who has the rights over the knowledge collected by the SBCP? Will it be national property? Will again the reason of the state appropriate the traditional knowledge for the national economy? These are some of the questions that have to be answered adequately if we want to develop a strategy to conserve the Sundarban forest with people’s participation.

From: Zakir Kibria

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Man-eater on the prowl

Sharier Khan

The Daily Star

Sundarbans lovers beware unless you’re not scared of a tryst with a man-eater! A tiger is on a record-breaking killing spree.

Between January and May, this off-track tiger has killed 32 people and injured many more in Dingimari area of Satkhira district. It had another 27 scalps last year.

Fifteen honey collectors, leaves collector, fishermen, wood-cutters, a forest bandit and a forest officer feature among its kills.

But the hair-raising tales of the tiger’s unusual hunting habit, however, hardly daunt the poor people of the locality to venture into the forest, as its the only source of their livelihood, says tiger tracker Khasru Chowdhury.

“It needs to be killed,” points out Khasru who reports that during his stay in Dingimari area between April 30 and May 28, this tiger killed seven people. “The normal activity of this forest is being disrupted and soon men will turn up against the tigers if this killing goes on,” warns a worried Khasru.

“Maybe it’s more than one tiger. But so far I found evidence of one male medium-sized tiger that has become terribly addicted to human flesh,” Khasru points out. “Attacks are being reported every week. This tiger attacked a man earlier this week but he survived.”

The guardian of the Sundarbans, the Forest Department, acknowledges the killings, but says it has not taken any initiative. The chief conservator has the power to give such a man-eating tiger death sentence which is executable in 15 days.

“We are not sure which tiger is repeatedly killing humans,” says Rezaul Karim, deputy conservator. “We don’t want to kill a wrong tiger. After all, tiger being killed is a sensitive issue.”

Ali Kabir Haider, conservator of Khulna range forest, says from this month the government has introduced an insurance system for each legal visitor of the forest under which Tk 25,000 will be given to the family of a victim of tiger attack.

Tigers killed 427 people between 1984 and 2001, according to forest department statistics given by Haider. Of them, 53 percent were fishermen, 15 percent woodcutters and 13 percent honey collectors.

The last big man-eater tiger killed 52 people. But those killings took place in five years’ span between 1989 and 1994, whereas this new killer claimed 59 lives in less than 18 months. A woodcutter killed the previous man-eater by plunging his axe into its forehead when the tiger attacked him.

Some forest staff and professionals say the number of victims has increased with the growing number of trespassers.

The government increased the fee for entering the forest for honey collection or fishing two years ago and the measure saw a fall in the official number of visitors. The unofficial number kept rising though, as forest guards allow poor people to enter the forest for bribes.

Illegal logging has also increased with the patronage of some forest and security employees. Every day, these employees allow timber thieves to cut trees and then stage a ‘timber recovery drive’ in which no-one is arrested. And when the recovered timber is sold, the unscrupulous employees keep most of the sale proceeds with them, leaving little for the state coffers.

Forest officials in charge of Khulna range declined to comment on the racket.

From: Zakir Kibria

LATIN AMERICA
Honduras

In spite of continual death threats and attempted assaults, thousands of citizens

from all regions of Honduras began marching to the capital last Thursday. They

are demanding an end to the illegal logging that is devastating the nation?s

forests and to the government corruption that supports it.

Last year, Global Response organized an international letter-writing campaign

to support the demands of the first March for Life, which was organized in the

Olancho region (please see our action alert at this website).

In spite of the international pressure brought to bear by Global Response and

Amnesty International, one of the march?s organizers, Carlos Arturo Reyes,

was assassinated.

March For Life Proceeds From Coast To Capitol In Honduras

June 22, 2004

Contact: Bruna Genovese

(202) 232-3317

bruna@ciponline.org

CONGRESSMAN, FORMER AMBASSADOR, DAUGHTER OF ROBERT KENNEDY, ACTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATES TO ACCOMPANY MARCH IN HONDURAS AGAINST ILLEGAL LOGGING

Illegal logging and related corruption have become so serious in the Central American nation of Honduras that thousands of peasants will be marching on the capital of Tegucigalpa on June 30 from all over the country to call an end to this devastating practice. The Center for International Policy, a Washington, DC-based advocacy group, has organized a delegation of prominent U.S. citizens to accompany them:

Father Andrés Tamayo, the march’s chief organizer, predicts that 50,000 persons will participate. Campesinos will begin the march on June 24 from four different points around the country. Marching about 20 miles a day, they are scheduled to arrive in Tegucigalpa on June 30. Each night, community leaders will hold a teach-in for the host community. They will speak with residents about their rights as citizens in a democracy and encourage them to participate more fully in the civic life of the country.

The marchers intend to present the government with a list of demands calculated to put the brakes on illegal logging and the corruption that sustains it by involving communities in the management of local forest reserves. The “March for Life” is being organized by the Environmental Movement of Olancho and the Committee of the Families of the Detained-Disappeared in Honduras, and will be supported by a number of religious, human rights, campesino, student, environmental and labor organizations.

Delegates will visit the marchers to discuss the impact of illegal logging on their lives and their hopes for change. They will meet with defenders of human rights and the environment, as well as Honduran government officials and business leaders.

The “March for Life” against illegal logging has already generated great controversy and great hope.

- The president of the Honduran Congress, Mr. Porfirio Lobo Sosa, has called for the expulsion from Honduras of all foreigners who participate in the March. Lobo Sosa is the leading candidate in the presidential election scheduled for next year. He represents Olancho, the department perhaps most afected by illegal logging and has close connections to the logging industry.

- President Maduro, like Lobo Sosa a member of the Nationalist Party, knowing he cannot win such a battle, has announced he will join the March and has publicly announced that he will take new actions on forestry sector reforms.

- The coordinator of the attorney general’s office, taking his cue from his President, carried out raids on police stations known for their complicity in illegal logging. He was immediately fired for his trouble, thereby causing more controversy.

- Padre Tamayo appears daily on TV, radio and the press calling on “all communities to unite in the search for justice and to wake up this country by participating in the March.”

The Center for International Policy (CIP) is an independent, non-profit, research and advocacy organization whose mission is to promote a U.S. foreign policy based on international cooperation, demilitarization, and respect for basic human rights. Ambassador White is CIP’s president and heads up its ongoing program in Honduras, which is designed to strengthen democracy and human rights through environmental causes. In his opinion, “Honduran democracy is hobbled not only by poverty and inequality but by the lack of political will to advance the common good.” Ambassador White is well known in the region, having served in Honduras in the 1970s as head of the U.S. embassy’s political section and then as ambassador to Paraguay and El Salvador.

From: Global Response

NORTH AMERICA
USA

Global shrimp market in turmoil

NewAge, July 7, 2004 www.newagebd.com

The world?s shrimp exporters are anxiously waiting for a ruling on whether Asian farmers are selling their produce at unfair prices.

US shrimp producers launched a lawsuit in January which alleged that Vietnam and China were dumping cheap products into their markets.

Asian seafood farmers, meanwhile, accuse the US of blatant protectionism.

The US Commerce Department will rule on whether extra tariffs should be imposed on Asian shrimps later on Tuesday.

If the US shrimp producers win, Washington will slap taxes on imported shrimp, forcing up the price and making it less competitive against locally produced seafood.

Last year Vietnam lost a bitterly fought campaign against a similar move by US catfish producers.

But the shrimp market in the US is worth a lot more. Vietnam sells shrimp worth about $500m (?270m) to the American market each year, compared to less than $60m in catfish.

A separate decision is also expected later this month on whether the US could impose sanctions on shrimp imports from a further six countries, including Thailand, Brazil, Ecuador and India. Southern shrimpers, struggling to cope with plummeting prices, filed a petition with the US International Trade Commission in February.

?It?s one of the largest cases ever filed, it?s against six countries around the world, there are thousands of companies,? said Eddie Gordon, president of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, which organised the petition.

From: zakir kibria

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Shrimp Alert

U.S. Proposes Tariffs on Shrimp Imports

By LEIGH STROPE

.c The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Bush administration on Tuesday proposed tariffs on shrimp imports from China and Vietnam, finding that companies there were dumping frozen and canned warm-water shrimp products into the United States at

artificially low prices.

U.S. seafood distributors and retailers said Americans will face

Higher shrimp prices at restaurants and in grocery stores if the duties, which take effect later this week, are kept.

But shrimpers and processors disputed the claims, arguing that those companies’ huge profits could absorb any small increase without passing costs on to consumers.

Tuesday’s preliminary decision by the Commerce Department was another slap at China on the issue of trade this election year. Last month, the department proposed new tariffs on wooden bedroom furniture from China that it said was being dumped into the United States. Vietnam was hit with tariffs on its last year, prompting complaints of U.S. protectionism.

The proposed tariffs on Chinese exporters of frozen and canned

warm-water shrimp and prawn range from about 8 percent to 113 percent. Vietnam exporters face duties ranging from about 12 percent to 93 percent. Those numbers could change as the department continues investigating.

“I think the message here is clear, that we’ll enforce our trade

laws,” said James Jochum, assistant commerce secretary for import

administration.

U.S. shrimpers and processors, struggling from rock-bottom prices

Since 2001, filed the antidumping petition in December, seeking duties on shrimp from China, Vietnam, Thailand, Brazil, Ecuador and India. Those countries account for about 75 percent of total U.S. imports of frozen and canned warm-water shrimp, Jochum said.

China and Vietnam were considered separately because they are not free market-based economies. China exported 169 million pounds of shrimp worth $419 million to the United States in 2003, while Vietnam exported almost 125 million pounds worth about $588 million, the department said. A decision on the other countries is expected later this month.

“These rulings confirm what the industry is painfully aware of,”

said Eddie Gordon, president of the Southern Shrimp Alliance, a group representing warm-water wild shrimp fisheries in eight states: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.

The initial decision is “a critical step on the road to recovery for

Tens of thousands of fishermen, farmers and processors devastated by the massive volume of dumped Chinese and Vietnamese shrimp,” Gordon said.

The group claims the value of the U.S. harvest dropped by more than half between 2000 and 2002, from $1.25 billion to $560 million, because of dumping.

But food distributors and retailers say shrimp consumption in the

United States will drop and prices will rise as a result of the duties.

The price of shrimp “is clearly going to rise and it’s going to rise

dramatically if these taxes are left in place,” said Wally Stevens,

president and chief operating officer of seafood distributor Slade Gorton Co., and chairman of an industry task force opposing the tariffs. The Commerce Department excluded breaded, fresh, dried and cold-water

shrimp and prawns, and those found in prepared meals.

The Bush administration is facing political pressure to show that it

Is taking action to deal with America’s soaring trade deficits and the

loss since mid-2000 of nearly 3 million U.S. manufacturing jobs. The United States recorded a $124 billion trade deficit with China last year – the largest imbalance ever with a single country.

The U.S. International Trade Commission unanimously ruled in February that the imports were a factor in depressing shrimp prices, a necessary finding for an antidumping petition to be successful.

The commission will make a final determination next January on whether U.S. industry is being harmed by the imports. The Commerce Department then will set final dumping penalties.

From: Andrianna Natsoulas anatsoulas@citizen.org

STORIES/ISSUES
ENN

Sea protection costs less than fish subsidies, says study

JOHANNESBURG – Protecting the world’s oceans will cost governments far less than the amount they spend on subsidies for fishing fleets and will lead to bigger catches in the long run, according to a new study.

The study, by conservation group WWF International and Britain’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, estimates that a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) covering 30 percent of Earth’s oceans would cost $12 billion to $14 billion annually.

It says this falls far short of the $15 billion to $30 billion already spent each year on subsidies to commercial fisheries, which environmentalists say encourages overfishing.

The study was published on Monday in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“MPAs turn around fisheries and build up (fish) populations in adjacent areas,” said Callum Roberts, one of the study’s authors who is a fisheries biologist at the University of York in England. “In St. Lucia in the Caribbean, fish catches increased by 50 to 100 percent as a consequence of MPAs created in 1995,” he said from his UK office.

Roberts said priority areas included tropical coral reef systems, which are threatened by overfishing and climate change.

Miniscule Portion of Sea Under Protection

According to WWF, only 0.5 percent of the sea is under protection, compared to 12 percent of the planet’s land area.

But the study says increasing marine protection to 30 percent of the global total would cost less than the subsidies that are splashed out on fishing fleets.

Critics argue that lavish government support, especially in the European Union, keeps unprofitable boats afloat and effectively pays them to chase after dwindling fish stocks.

“It (fishing subsidies) encourages too much capital into the industry, and people are fishing for subsidies rather than fish in the end,” said Roberts.

The report estimates that setting up and running an expanded network of MPAs would generate between 830,000 and 1.1 million full-time jobs directly. Further jobs would be created through increased fish catches and other spin-offs such as ecotourism.

It estimates MPAs would help preserve marine services valued at an estimated $7 trillion a year. This includes cash generated by tourism, fishing, waste recycling, and the price of coastal properties.

Nearly 75 percent of fisheries are categorized as overfished or fished to the limit. Some, like the once teeming cod fishery off the east coast of Canada, have completely collapsed and may never recover.

WWF said marine habitat loss now equals or exceeds that of rain forests, with 60 percent of coral reefs expected to be lost by 2030 if present rates of decline continue.

ENN

From: “Elaine Corets”

———-

FISH SAID TO BE SMARTER THAN GENERALLY REALIZED

Contributing to a special section on “animal minds” for New Scientist, researcher Culum Brown writes that fish are “more intelligent than they appear,” sometimes surpassing even non-human primates. He states that “fish not only recognise individuals but can also keep track of complex social relationships.” He also points to research showing that some fish use tools, build houses, and have excellent long-term memories and “fantastic spatial memory, equal in all respects to any other vertebrate.”

—SOURCE: Culum Brown: Not just a pretty face. New Scientist, June 12, 2004, page 42. www.newscientist.com

From: SeaSpan@pewoceanscience.org

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Bamboo: money that grows as you watch

Source: The Nation (Nairobi), 10 June 2004

A giant bamboo introduced into the country last year which achieves the phenomenal growth rate of one metre per day, could be a possible money spinner for local farmers.

The World Agroforestry Centre has already distributed more than 800 seedlings of the giant bamboo, Dendrocalamus giganteus, to farmers in Kericho, Kisii, Nandi South, Nyamira, Nyando, Siaya, and Vihiga Districts. The giant bamboo is nature’s fastest growing woody plant. Its culms (poles) are the strongest, lightest natural material known to man. A square metre of flooring derived from this plant will sell for as much as Sh8 000, while in Southern Asia it is used for reinforcing concrete and for scaffolding on skyscrapers.

It absorbs water faster than most plants and is used in some parts of the world for cleaning sewage. Even more important, it soaks up heavy metals. It is a potential answer to polluted waters in Kenya, including Lake Victoria whose shores are dotted with large urban centres that discharge domestic and industrial waste into its waters. Working with municipal authorities, ICRAF has plans to introduce the bamboo for waste water treatment in Kisumu and Kakamega. Further afield, ICRAF is also looking at local authorities in Nairobi, Mwanza and other towns dotting Lake Victoria’s shores.

No other woody plant matches the bamboo’s versatility in environmental conservation and commerce. It is a viable replacement for both hardwoods and softwoods. Its growth rate is three times that of eucalyptus, and it matures in just three years. Thereafter, harvests are possible every second year for up to 120 years.

India has some 20 million acres of commercial bamboo that account for 60 percent of the country’s massive paper requirements and much of its commercial timber needs. Over two million tons of edible bamboo shoots, rich in vitamins and low in carbohydrates, fats and proteins – are consumed around the world every year, mostly in Asia.

However, bamboo remains an untapped resource in Africa, a state of affairs ICRAF is addressing through a pilot project in Kenya. The project aims to create awareness on the environmental and economic benefits of bamboo in the Lake Victoria Basin, and hopefully popularize it throughout the region.

Interestingly, bamboo, a member of the grass family, is not new in Kenya. According to Prof Chin Ong, a hydrologist with ICRAF, Kenya’s water catchments were once covered in bamboo, but most of these forests have since been cleared.

This commercially attractive species can grow in areas traditionally used for sugar cane and coffee cultivation, thus providing an alternative or additional cash crop. Arundinaria alpina, a species of bamboo native to Kenya, will yield as many as 20 000 culms per hectare per year, with each culm growing to a height of 12m. Most species in fact grow to over 30m at full maturity.

Kenya has few privately owned commercial timber plantations. Most of the country’s timber comes from government forests managed by the Forest Department. However, these forests have been severely over-exploited with only limited replanting. Timber firms are now reportedly forced to import timber from the Congo and Tanzania to manufacture hard and soft board. The country’s leading paper manufacturer, PanPaper of Webuye, is also reportedly using plantation softwoods to fuel its boilers and make paper pulp. With its rapid growth and high woody fibre production, bamboo would supply both industrial needs.

At the household level, bamboo would be a valuable source of firewood and charcoal. It yields more than 7 000 kilocalories per kilogram, equivalent to half the yield from an equivalent amount of petroleum. Some species of the plant have large thorns, making them ideal for security hedges. Others grow tall straight culms that form ideal windbreaks that can be sustainably harvested annually. And of course edible bamboo shoots would be a nutritious addition to the family table. These shoots, mild and very crunchy, can be eaten raw or cooked. The Kenya Forestry Research Institute already grows several high quality edible varieties.

Bamboo rhizomes anchor topsoil along steep slopes and riverbanks, very effectively controlling erosion. Bamboo leaves, sheaves and old culms that die and fall to the ground decompose and create a thick humus layer that enriches the soil. Studies in South East Asia and Kenya have also shown that natural bamboo forests have excellent hydrological functions that promote soil health. Some species of bamboo absorb as much 12 tonnes of atmospheric carbon dioxide per hectare, a valuable asset to deploy against global warming.

Bamboo can be propagated from seeds, though most species flower just once every 15 to 120 years. More viable mass propagation techniques include tissue culture.

From: “Elaine Corets”
manglar@comcast.net

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Honey Production From Mangroves Can Supplement Local Incomes

Note: This is from Can Tho University in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam for a course on Mangrove Ecology. Can Tho has a very large aquaculture program. This website was never completed and has not been updated for over 4 years, but it contains some very good information and should be linked to MAP’s site. It also has a good number of links, including the following on honey production:

Honey and beeswax

In Asia wild bees found in mangrove include Apis dorsata and A. florea but these only build small nests and are not important commercially. Apis mellifera and A. cerana can be kept in hives and used for commercial honey and beeswax production. In Sunderbans India and Bangladesh, about 1kg/year of honey can be produced from 10 ha mangrove, with total annual production of around 20 metric tons from mainly Ceriops forest. High quality honey is produced from Aegialitis and Cynometra ramiflora but also from Avicennia and Ceriops.

From: “MAP / S.E. Asia”
mapasia@loxinfo.co.th

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JOIN JULY 22 GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST OLD WORLD BANK ORDER!

A SEED Europe

CEE Bankwatch Network

Friends of the Earth International

Jubilee USA Network

Oilwatch International

Rios Vivos Coalition

Sustainable Energy and Economy Network

50 Years is Enough Network

Dear friends,

On July 22, the World Bank will celebrate its 60th birthday. That day will mark 60 years of failed policies, 60 years of misguided loans, 60 years of increasing debt, and 60 years of dubious development projects.

July 22 will also be at the eve of a crucial decision at the World Bank. The groundbreaking Extractive Industries Review, which demands an end to all oil and coal financing – will be discussed by the Board of Directors. The board will decide whether to end Bank business as usual, which puts corporate profits before people and the planet.

World Bank Management has already let it be known that they intend to continue using billions of tax dollars to subsidize the oil, gas, coal, and mining industries. But it’s not up to them. The final decision rests with our government representatives on the World Bank’s Board. They need to hear loud and clear that the time for change is now.

Join the Global Day of Action on J-22 and call for the World Bank to:

- give communities the right to decide their own development path;

- stop investing in oil, mining and gas;

- respect human rights;

- exclude large dams from renewables initiatives;

- operate in full transparency;

- cancel 100% of impoverished country debt.

Suggestions for your local action include targeting your government or local World Bank offices with a banner hanging, marching, leafleting, street theatre, media work, bicycle demonstrations, and any other creative and effective non-violent actions you may think.

Daphne Wysham, SEEN Director

Act now! Join the Global Day of Action on the World Bank on J-22!

For more information visit: www.eireview.info

From: zakir kibria

AQUACULTURE CORNER
Wild salmon prices have been hurt

Times Colonist

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Re: “Consider the opportunity for B.C. seafood industry,” June 15.

Mary Ellen Walling talks about supply and demand in regards to salmon and seafood. What she does not mention is that market demand stimulated by increased supply comes with the consequence of lowering prices, sometimes drastically.

The wild fishery has struggled through low prices because farmed salmon product has flooded the market. Even the corporations searching for profit in farmed salmon have felt the blow: “an excessive increase in the supply of farmed salmon resulted in extremely low salmon prices . . . resulted in substantial negative earnings” (PanFish annual report 2002).

Salmon aquaculture is a threat to the wild fishery in B.C. – both environmentally and economically. In order to protect the price and market share of wild salmon, we must have an educated consumer public that does not equate wild salmon with its farmed counterpart. Consumers need the necessary tools, such as mandatory labeling of farmed salmon, in order to exercise their right to make informed choices.

Jennifer Kingsley,

Aquaculture Analyst,

Raincoast Conservation Society,

Victoria

(c) Times Colonist 2004

From: Lynn Hunter
hunterlynn@shaw.ca

———-

Proposed fish farm creates controversy

WebPosted Jul 5 2004 01:57 PM PDT

vancouver.cbc.ca

VANCOUVER – A group representing one of B.C.’s most lucrative fisheries is calling on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to stop its plans to allow a Sablefish Farm.

The Canadian Sablefish Association says the DFO is about to allow a salmon farm to be re-stocked with Sablefish, also known as blackcod.

A company on Salt Spring Island plans to transfer cultivated juvenile sablefish to an open net pen in the Jarvis Inlet on the Sunshine Coast.

LINK: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada sablefish fact sheet

But, Eric Wickham, the executive director of the Canadian Sablefish Association, says that the risks to the natural stock are unknown.

“We do know there’s more than 20 different parasites,” he says. “We don’t know what happens when they’re put into an area where there’s juveniles, like what’s happening with the sea lice on salmon.”

The worry is that a parasite or new disease could jump from Atlantic salmon to the sablefish, and then infect wild sablefish along the west coast.

LINK: Canadian Sablefish Association

Wickham says B.C.’s $27 million wild sablefish industry could be wiped out if the DFO allows the farm to go ahead.

“The government seems to be prepared to risk the wild stock, in favour of fish farms.”

Wickham says this first farm could be just the beginning. He says the provincial government has already approved the conversion of 40 salmon farms to sablefish.

Officials from the DFO were not available for comment.

From: Lynn Hunter

1 This paper is based on an ongoing research investigating the role of traditional knowledge in the conservation of Sundarban mangrove forest. Earlier versions of this paper were presented at regional workshop of SBCP Watch Group in Khulna in March 2003 and at Department of Business and Management, University of Calcutta.

2 Researcher, BanglaPraxis: Collective Initiative for Research and Action. BanglaPraxis is a member of the SBCP Watch Group. SBCP Watch Group is monitoring ADB funded Sundarban Biodiversity Conservation Project (SBCP). Contact information at the end of the paper.

3 Tradition is a widely contested term in social sciences literature, many writers have correctly pointed that it is impossible to understand the term without unpacking the tradition/modernity binary opposition and investigating the hegemony of western modernity (Asad, 1993). For reasons of space this argument will not be elaborated here.

4 For a description of the Sundarban mangrove forest and it’s biodiversity see Hussain and Acharya, 1994.

5 Colding and Folke have investigated the role of taboos and its relationship with the protection of threatened animals around the world (Colding and Folke, 1997).

6 Some writers have tended to associate women’s relationship with nature in an essential way, thus risking the reproduction of women/nature analogy.

7 SBCP Watch Group researcher advocate Fatema Khondokar is studying a few cases lodged by forest authorities. A paper based on that research was presented at a regional workshop on effective reformulation of the ADB funded SBCP in Khulna, Bangladesh on March 27, 2003.

8 Karl Marx’s old piece on ‘theft’ of wood in Germany may give us some insight on how communal property has been fencing off into private property depriving millions of forest dwellers of their livelihood.

Additional papers are available at this site, and we are soliciting other papers for inclusion on the site for general availability.

Please respond to LESRRL3@AOL.COM
ROBIN LEWIS

Late Friday News, 140th Ed., 22 June 2004

Dear Friends,

This is the 140th Edition of the Late Friday News brought to you after a brief hiatus as I was away visiting for nine days aboard the Peace Boat as a guest speaker, sailing from Miami to Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala, where I spent a few days visiting the Guatemala coast and mangroves there. Future conservation projects in the region are hopefully soon forthcoming for MAP!

Though this newsletter is brought to you for free, PLEASE help MAP stay in this fight for the future by becoming a donating subscriber today! Contact: angroveap@olympus.net

Also, if applicable, Please Donate Your Frequent Flyer Miles To MAP!

Please consider helping MAP meet those demands for our presence at certain conferences and workshops whereby our greatest cost to attend important events is airfare, which often holds us back from
attending important fora where MAP’s presence should be felt.

Please donate your frequent flyer miles to MAP so we can be in the
right place at the right time to present MAP’s needed voice at such fora where too often the grassroots voice for the local communities
and for the mangroves is not heard.

If you wish to donate your frequent flyer miles, please contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net.

Your help in this important matter will be much appreciated!

Salud,

Alfredo Quarto,
Mangrove Action Project

Partnering with mangrove forest communities, grassroots NGOs, researchers and local governments to conserve and restore mangrove forests and related coastal ecosystems, while promoting community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources.

Contents for LATE FRIDAY NEWS, 140th Edition, 22 June 2004
FEATURE STORY
Shrimp’s Success Hurts Asian Environment, Group Says

MAP WORKS
MAP Holds 10th IHOF Workshop in Indonesia
New Website On Mangrove Restoration Launched
Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop
MAP’s Art Gallery Website
Please Donate Your Frequent Flyer Miles To MAP!
Work-Study Tour In Yucatan’s Mangroves
John Gray Sea Canoe Eco-Tours

ASIA
S.E. ASIA
Thailand
Monkeys begging for food in the Degraded Mangroves
Squandering our natural resources

Indonesia
Haze starts to blanket Jambi, Riau

Malaysia
Haze from fires in Indonesia blankets two Malaysian cities
Malaysian scientists seek more environmental protection for Straits of Malacca

Vietnam
Shrimp farming could harm VN�s ecology: expert

S. ASIA
Bangladesh
BANGLADESH SHRIMP UPDATE
Govt mulls separate Sundarbans command
JOINT MEETING TO PROTECT WILDLIFE
Project: Sustainable Harvesting Campaign for Sundarban Biosphere in peril
Shrimp industry being ruined for toll
Shrimp export could see five-fold rise by 2008
Govt hatchery raises hope among shrimp farmers

LATIN AMERICA
Ecuador
A CALL FOR GLOBAL ACTION ON JULY 26th, THE DAY OF THE MANGROVES!:

Brazil
Environment Day For Brazil’s “Sea Perople”

Honduras
Award for Misconduct in Ramsar Site Questioned!
Bay Islands Threatened By Tourism Development

Mexico
Workers spill tar into protected Mexican mangrove, coral reserve

NORTH AMERICA
USA
Texas Officials Quarantine 4 Shrimp Farms
U.S. Shift on Organic Rules Proved Costly

STORIES/ISSUES
New Evidence of Impact of Global Changes on Remote Tropical Rain Forests

ANNOUNCEMENTS
‘Farming the Sea, Costing the Earth’ Report Out
Ramsar Handbooks on Wise Use of Wetlands
The Ramsar Wetland Conservation Award

CONFERENCES/WORKSHOPS/FORUMS/BOOKS/PUBLICATIONS
MANAGEMENT CHALLENGES FOR WETLANDS, MIRES AND PEATLANDS IN THE 21ST CENTURY.

CALL FOR PAPERS
The Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property (IASCP)

AQUACULTURE CORNER
“Salmon Farming,s “Foot-and-Mouth � Scotland,s Secret Disease Epidemic Exposed”
For Cod’s Sake

FEATURE STORY
Shrimp’s Success Hurts Asian Environment, Group Says

James Owen
for National Geographic News
June 21, 2004
Whether baked, barbecued, curried, grilled, stewed, or stir-fried, shrimp are palate pleasers throughout the Western world. The crustacean is the top-selling seafood in the United States. But shrimp’s meteoric rise has come at a heavy cost, say environmentalists.

A new report by the London-based Environmental Justice Foundation claims that the West’s appetite for jumbo-size tiger shrimp (also known as tiger prawns) is degrading the environmental health of many of the world’s poorest nations.

The impacts of shrimp farming range from wrecked mangrove forests and decimated wild fish stocks to pollution- and disease-prone coastal communities, according to the environmental nonprofit.

The foundation’s report questions the sustainability of the industry in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and other developing countries.

“Our report reveals a truly shocking catalog of environmental damage that has occurred as a result of a get-rich-quick attitude by shrimp farmers,” said Steve Trent, director of the Environmental Justice Foundation.

Damage detailed in the report includes the destruction of coastal mangrove forests; threats to human health and wildlife from antibiotics, pesticides, and other chemicals; a rise of sea-polluting waste effluents; and the depletion of wild fish stocks due to habitat loss and the growing demand for fish meal fed to shrimp stock.

“It is time for the seafood industry and governments to take a stand and end these abuses,” Trent added.

The shrimp-farming industry is now worth at an estimated 60 billion U.S. dollars globally. In 2001 shrimp overtook canned tuna as the top seafood choice in the U.S. Japan is the world’s biggest per capita shrimp consumer.

Around 99 percent of farmed shrimp is produced in developing countries in tropical regions such as Southeast Asia. These countries now have some 110,000 warm-water shrimp farms, covering around 1.3 million hectares (3.2 million acres).

The majority of these shrimp farms are located in coastal areas defined by coastal mangrove forests. The saltwater-tolerant, intertidal forests are some of the world’s most threatened habitats.

Globally, more than a third of mangrove forests have disappeared in the last 20 years, according to researchers at Boston University’s Marine Biological Laboratory. They note that as much as 38 percent of this decline is due to shrimp farm development.

Mangroves ‘Vital’

Scientists say that, in addition to supporting a huge diversity of plant and animal life, mangroves perform many vital functions:

° Mangroves guard against coastal erosion;
° act as bulwarks to tropical storms;
° regulate levels of soil salinity; and
° act as refuges and nursery areas for many different fish, crustaceans, and shellfish traditionally harvested by local communities.

Shrimp farm development can damage other coastal habitats, including salt marshes and freshwater wetlands, according to the foundation report.

The environmental nonprofit says organic waste from shrimp farms is blamed for smothering coral reefs and sea grass beds. In Thailand alone, shrimp farms discharge up to 1.3 billion cubic meters (340 billion gallons) of effluent annually, according to past studies.

The nonprofit’s report also highlights concerns over the levels of antibiotics, disinfectants, fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals used by shrimp farmers to maximize profits and combat disease.

Annabelle Aish, a marine researcher with the Environmental Justice Foundation, said: “Fertilizers can cause nutrient enrichment and eutrophication [aquatic plant blooms that deplete oxygen levels] of fresh and coastal waters, while pesticides are often highly toxic to aquatic wildlife which can lead to bioaccumulation in the food chain.”

“Antibiotics, which are often heavily and inappropriately used due to fears of disease, affect natural bacterial activity and can cause development of antibiotic-resistant pathogens,” Aish added. “These impacts are exacerbated by the removal of mangroves and other wetlands, which act as filters of pollutants.”

In the case of the widely used antibiotic oxytetracycline, scientists say around 95 percent of this non-biodegradable chemical finds its way into the wider environment.

A report by the American Society of Microbiology in 1995 singled out the use of antibiotics in aquaculture as potentially a leading cause of the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in humans.

A recent study in Thailand by Swedish-based scientists found that 77 percent of bacteria in farmed shrimp were resistant to one or more antibiotics.

The Environmental Justice Foundation report also noted that increased demand for warm-water shrimp species in the West has prompted a shift toward a “slash and burn” style of aquaculture, because the networks of large, human-made ponds have to be abandoned after five or six years due to disease and poor water quality.

Farms Abandoned

In the upper Gulf of Thailand alone, 40,000 hectares (99,000 acres) of farms were abandoned by 2000, with 90 percent of shrimp farmers left out of business, according to a Thailand Development Research Institute report.

Instead of intensive production systems, the Environmental Justice Foundation says other, more sustainable forms of shrimp farming, such as polyculture, should be encouraged.

“Polyculture” refers to a traditional farming method in Asia where several species are farmed together in the same water, helping to insure against the risk of disease and changing market conditions. In the Philippines, for example, fish, shrimp, and shellfish are farmed among mangroves in a system known as tumpang sari.

Another option, says Aish, are certified organic farms which “are obliged to use nontoxic inorganic compounds, rather than chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and antibiotics,” she said. “[Organic farms] also make an effort to reduce their reliance on fish meal [for fertilizer or animal food].”

Yet there may be financial reasons why less intensive forms of shrimp farming are not practical, said Rohana Subasinghe, a senior fisheries officer with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Inland Water and Aquaculture Service.

“Certification is not necessarily a silver bullet,” said Subasinghe. “It means costs-and for small fish and shrimp farmers, those costs may be prohibitive,” Subasinghe said. “Without doing something to address that [added expense], you could see thousands of small-scale families pushed right out of business in the developing world.”

“Another challenge is coming up with a coherent set of standards that make sense on a global scale,” Subasinghe said, noting that this is no easy task. “Especially when standards are set in rich importing countries and must be met by poor exporting countries with very limited technical and financial resources.”

Aish, the Environmental Justice Foundation marine researcher, advises consumers to “cut down on eating shrimp, or cut it out altogether-unless you can be assured it comes from sustainable sources.”

“Consumers have considerable power and responsibility,” she said. “With their help, unsustainable methods of shrimp farming can begin to be eradicated.”

From: Mike Shanahan

MAP WORKS
MAP Holds 10th IHOF Workshop in Indonesia

A small Coastal Communities Resource Center (CCRC) was constructed by local organizers — JALA and P3MN– to host the 10th In the Hands of the Fishers (IHOF) workshop. The CCRC was built in a neo-traditional style, and blessed by a local leader who cried during the ceremony because the building reminded him of his youth.

It also turned out to be a spectacular venue for a fisherfolk meeting. Sitting on the floor on woven mats, with a high roof and figures cut out of the low walls to allow plenty of ventilation, fisherfolk participation in this meeting was high from the onset. There was an amazing amount of exchange, taking place both in the CCRC as well as the fisherfolk village directly with the local community… the type of exchange that is not feasible in a hotel.

Behind the building, a natural looking public restroom and washing area was built, and is already well utilized by the nearby villagers. The location of the CCRC is in a marginal area of the village where the poorer families live, and was once a thriving mangrove. In the 80′s, employees of the nearby Aluminum processing plant (the largest in Asia) bought up much of the mangrove north of the village for conversion to shrimp ponds. In creating the shrimp ponds, a large channel was dug which separates the village (and the CCRC building) from the ponds. This robbed the mangrove of waters from tidal exchange, and the mangrove is now stunted and for all intents and purposes a terrestrial mangrove. We are now looking into how mangrove can be re-established without disturbing the settlement areas that have been built since the shrimp pond development.

More than half of the shrimp ponds adjacent to the village are disused, and potential to do some rehabilitation in the area is high but needs some work on the public awareness and land ownership/access side of things before any kind of plan can be created. During the workshop we held a 4-hour session on mangrove rehabilitation for about half of the participants (the other half were studying improved cook stoves at the time) and we thoroughly went through the concept of hydrology and its connection to mangrove health.

Back to the workshop, the group spent the first day and a half getting to know the village. This took place through touring the village and creating sketch maps of the village in the present day as well as the past. A working mural of the village’s past was accomplished by interviewing village elders. These activities were taken straight out of the book }Do Your Own Mangrove Action Project,” and were intended to help fisherfolk leaders and NGO folks begin the process of problem identification. After drawing the murals the participants gave short presentations about their drawings and came to some conclusions about how change took place over time in the Kuala Indah village, and we had some discussion about the relationship between change and the quality of life. In closing this segment of the workshop we had a presentation by the local villagers on the history and current status of the village to cross check the information gathered by the local participants. Pak Nasir, a local village leader was astonished that in the creation of maps of the villages past and present, outsiders discovered things about the village in a only a day and a half that he himself never knew.

In the next workshop segment, we wanted to allow visiting fisherfolk to share information about their villages and developments in coastal and marine management. But this is often the most time consuming and static part of IHOF workshops, so we opted to hold group discussions on specific topics, to keep the meeting participatory and dynamic.

Three discussion groups were formed, one on the trawler issue, one on fisherfolk experiences with sustainable livelihood alternatives (such as seafood processing and community based eco-tourism), and the third group an all-women’s discussion. (Wait for the final report for a synopsis of the dialogue and recommendations for follow-up that came out of these three discussion groups.)

Then came day three and the toolkit workshops. In the morning the group chose from Nypah Palm Utilization or Blue Manna Crab catching and processing. Most participants opted to learn about Nypah and we piled into 6 small boats to visit a dense area of Nypah. The Thai and Malaysian participants had more experience utilizing Nypah than the Indonesian participants, but everyone learned something new, and sharing of techniques for gathering sap, food, and traditional medicine from Nypah where taught in-situ. (On my follow-up trip to Malaysia I visited a home where a man made his living entirely from collecting Nypah sap from 50 trees in his backyard. I will add this documentation to the final report, which will surely prove useful to the Indonesianparticipants. This also allowed my wife, Ary, to gather the final bits of information needed for her children’s book on Nypah palm, which should be ready in a few months (we still need funding for printing of the book)).

Coming back to the CCRC in the late morning, the group learned how to make palm sugar using the Improved Palm Sugar Cookstove built behind the CCRC. A palm sugar producer came down from the North Sumatran highlands to give this demonstration, and used “Aren” palm sap (Arenga pinnata) as we had not collected enough Nypah palm sap but the process is the same.

During the cooking of the palm sugar, an impromptu session on preparing dried/salted stingray broke out, led by the Thai women participants. Indonesian and Malay men and women alike took turns learning to cut the ray meat properly in order to form a visually pleasing little ring like a canned pineapple slice. The laundry/dishwashing area that is part of the public restrooms functioned well for this small-scale fish processing. Needless to say information about methods, price and marketing where exchanged informally.

In the afternoon, the group chose between attending a session on mangrove rehabilitation or improved cook stoves. For details on these two toolkit sessions I will defer to the final report.

At night we had an endless session on follow-up. The NGO folks and the fisherfolk split into two groups, and the NGO folks were put to shame. The fisherfolk had a lively marathon discussion, replete with shouting, jumping, singing and dancing, while the NGO folk spent the first hour in a sort of halted discussion about what to do next. That was all part of the plan. It was thought that in order for the fisherfolk to speak freely, we needed to separate the NGO folk. Nonetheless both groups went from 9 p.m. to 2 in the morning.

In the morning of the 4th day, we had a reporting out of the follow-up discussions which included a lot of talk about various types of future IHOF workshops and creation of a regional anti-trawler network. (details later). Then we boarded the bus for the trip back to Medan with one final excursion to Desa Naga Lawan (Defending Dragon Village), home of Pak Zaman, the sole Sumateran fisherfolk participant from IHOF #3.

There we had a nice seafood meal (the bonus of working with fisherfolk), and a walk around the village looking at an interesting Empang Parit silva-fisheries system, and finally down to the beach where we happened upon a stranded Indo-Pacific Humped-Backed Dolphin (Sousa chinensis).

This dolphin varies greatly in appearance depending on where it lives The animals west of Sumatra have a fatty hump on their backs and a relatively small dorsal fin, whereas those living east and south of Sumatra have no hump but a more prominent dorsal fin. There are several distinct colour variations. (Jim says in Thailand the fisherfolk distinguish two varieties, pink and greyish, we ran across a pink one).

This one had been stranded for a little while, and two local fisherfolk were considering whiter or not to turn it into dolphin satay when our group ambled up. Folks took turns holding the dolphin but failed to realize that unlike a fish, a stranded and weakened dolphin needs to keep its head (and blowhole) above the surface of the water. When we finally lifted her head up out of the she produced a blasting sigh of relief from her blowhole. After a few minutes, Maurizio Farhan Ferrari and myself aided the dolphin back to sea, beaching itself two more times on sandbars in the process, but as the saying goes �third time’s the charm.’ In an interesting note, on the charmed final try, I spoke to the dolphin telling her to take a rest and this time to steer right of the sandbars, and she nodded her head twice in approval. Farhan immediately said, ñshe understands you,� and I answered ñof course, because she is much much smarter than us silly humans,� she nodded her head �yes’ again and with a final effort was on her way back to deeper waters.

So in closing this report, we can say that aside from pulling off the first IHOF in a fisherfolk village, building a small CCRC in the process and building friendships and partnerships for future work, this IHOF was directly responsible for saving the life of a beautiful and clever dolphin.

From: “Ben Brown” map-indo@dps.centrin.net.id

—————————————–

New Website On Mangrove Restoration Launched

Robin Lewis would like to announce the opening of the web page www.mangroverestoration.com and the availability of the paper:

Stevenson, N. J., R. R. Lewis and P. R. Burbridge. 1999. Disused shrimp ponds and mangrove rehabilitation. Pages 277-297 in “An International Perspective on Wetland Rehabilitation”, W. J. Streever (Ed.). Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands. 338 pp.

at:Mangrove Restoration

Hard copies may be reqested from: SherryCapaz@aol.com

—————————————–

ANNOUNCEMENT: Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop

The third “Mangrove Forest Ecology, Management and Restoration” training workshop will be held at the Anne Kolb Nature Center, in Hollywood, Florida, USA, 21-24 February 2005. The training site is within a 500 ha mangrove restoration project at West Lake Park operated by Broward County. The award-winning project was designed by Roy R. “Robin” Lewis III, who will be teaching the course.

The workshop includes an introduction to mangrove forest ecology, management options and problems, and restoration design issues. The class programs are all given in a PowerPoint format, and each student is provided with a print out of the presentation and additional handouts including monitoring reports for typical restoration projects. Case studies of 5 successful mangrove restoration projects, and several unsuccessful projects, are discussed. Field trips are taken within the 500 ha West Lake Park mangrove restoration project (now 16 years old) and a new project just two years old, for a comparison.

The emphasis is on cost-effective successful mangrove management and restoration, and cost figures for typical projects are discussed and explained. The hydrologic restoration of mangroves is emphasized as the best approach to successful restoration at minimal cost (see Erftemeijer and Lewis 2000, Lewis 1999, 2000a, 2000b, Lewis and Marshall 1998, Lewis and Streever 2000, Stevenson et. al 1999, and Turner and Lewis 1997, for further discussion about hydrologic restoration of mangroves). Planting of mangroves is discussed in light of the many failures of this alone to successfully restore mangroves.

Cost for the course not including travel to Ft. Lauderdale, lodging or food is $650, due by January 1, 2005. Two qualified students will be allowed to attend for free. This course is taught in conjunction with the Mangrove Action Project.

More information can be provided by Sherry Capaz at
and www.mangroverestoration.com.

Literature Citations:

Erftemeijer, P. L. A., and R. R. Lewis III. 2000. Planting mangroves on intertidal mudflats: habitat restoration or habitat conversion? Pages 156-165 in Proceedings of the ECOTONE VIII Seminar “Enhancing Coastal Ecosystems Restoration for the 21st Century, Ranong, Thailand, 23-28 May 1999. Royal Forest Department of Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand.

Lewis, R. R. 1999. Key concepts in successful ecological restoration of mangrove forests. Pages 12-32 in Proceedings of the TCE-Workshop No. II, Coastal Environmental Improvement in Mangrove/Wetland Ecosystems, 18-23 August 1998, Ranong, Thailand. Danish-SE Asian Collaboration in Tropical Coastal Ecosystems (TCE) Research and Training. NACA, P.O. Box 1040, Bangkok, Thailand 10903

Lewis, R. R. 2000a. Don’t forget wetland habitat protection and restoration for Florida’s fisheries. National Wetlands Newsletter 22(6): 9-10 + 20.

Lewis, R. R. 2000b. Ecologically based goal setting in mangrove forest and tidal marsh restoration in Florida. Ecological Engineering 15(3-4): 191-198.

Lewis, R.. R., and M. J. Marshall. 1998. Principles of successful restoration of shrimp aquaculture ponds back to mangrove forests. Page 327 in World Aquaculture Society Book of Abstracts, Aquaculture ’98, Las Vegas, Nevada. (Abstract)

Lewis, R.. R., and W. Streever. 2000. Restoration of mangrove habitat. Tech Note ERDC TN-WRP-VN-RS-3.2 U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers, Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Mississippi. 7 pp. (PDF file)

Stevenson, N. J., R. R. Lewis and P. R. Burbridge. 1999. Disused shrimp ponds and mangrove rehabilitation. Pages 277-297 in “An International Perspective on Wetland Rehabilitation”, W.. J. Streever (Ed.). Kluwer Academic Publishers, The Netherlands. 338 pp.

Turner, R. E., and R. R. Lewis. 1997. Hydrologic restoration of coastal wetlands. Wetlands Ecol. Manage. 4(2):65-72.

From: LESrrl3@aol.com

=====
ENJOYABLE WAYS TO HELP SUPPORT MAP

MAP’s Art Gallery Website

Visit the Website of Chilean artist Monica Gutierrez-Quarto to view her gallery café of beautiful prints and paintings.

“I’m happy to introduce my gallery web site. www.gutierrez-Quartogallery.com
Please pass on to others to help increase the visibility A percentage of all sales generated via my website will go towards supporting the good work of Mangrove Action Project.”

For More Information, Please Contact: “monica gutierrez-quarto”

—————————————–

Please Donate Your Frequent Flyer Miles To MAP!

Please consider helping MAP meet those demands for our presence at certain conferences and workshops whereby our greatest cost to attend important events is airfare, which often holds us back from attending important fora where MAP’s presence should be felt.

Please donate your frequent flyer miles to MAP so we can be in the right place at the right time to present MAP’s needed voice at such fora where too often the grassroots voice for the local communities and for the mangroves is not heard.

If you wish to donate your frequent flyer miles, please contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net.

Your help in this important matter will be much appreciated!

—————————————–

Take A Coffee Break For the Mangroves!

Mangrove Action Project
and Grounds for Change

Help support the Mangrove Action Project through the purchase of Grounds for Change triple-certified coffee! Grounds for Change will donate 10% of purchase price to the Mangrove Action Project each time you make a purchase at the Grounds for Change web site. It’s a great way to support socially and environmentally-conscious coffee and healthy mangrove forests across the globe.

You can participate in one of two ways:

1. Visit the Mangrove Action Project web site and click on the DONATE TO MAP THROUGH YOUR NEXT CUP OF COFFEE link.

Or, Click on
2. Grounds For Change

You will then be directed to the Grounds for Change web site.

Grounds for Change sells only Fair Trade, Organic, Shade-Grown coffee which is roasted by hand, to-order at their family owned facility on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. Grounds for Change is a member of TransFair USA, the Songbird Foundation and the Fair Trade Federation. Grounds for Change further supports fair trade economics by donating 1% of profits to the Fair Trade Federation.

Please note that in order for the 10% donation to be made to MAP, supporters must follow one of the two options outlined above.

From mangroveap@olympus.net

—————————————–

Work-Study Tour In the Mangroves

MAP Volunteer Work Study/Eco-Tour for Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Oct. 1-10 , 2004

A mangrove-restoration and sea turtle conservation project on the Caribbean coast of Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico is being now reconsidered for a later date-from Oct. 1 10, 2004. Depending upon interest and numbers of volunteers, this tour will help restore degraded mangroves and help rescue or care for threatened baby sea turtles, as well as explore the unique cenote and reef ecosysyems of the region. MAP will be co-sponsoring this tour with the local NGO, SAVE in Mexico. At least 10 volunteers are needed to firm up plans for this tour.

For more information, please contact Alfredo Quarto at mangroveap@olympus.net

—————————————–

John Gray Sea Canoe Eco-Tours
MAP voted “Best of the Best”

MAP encourages anyone who wishes to sea kayak in Thailand to use environmentally responsible guides, and supports JGSC as the best of the best. we are being offered a 20% contribution. the customer booking a tour must indicate that they saw the ad on MAP’s website in order for MAP to receive a commission from “JOHN GRAY’S SEACANOE”.

John Gray’s SeaCanoe delivers high-quality tropical eco-tourism adventures guaranteed to expand your awareness. Lifelong waterman, wildlife rehabber and environmentalist John “Caveman” Gray started tropical kayaking in 1983, bringing ancient Hawaiian natural harmony to modern times. Lava sea caves highlighted Gray’s Hawai’i trips, and the 1985 “Moloka’i’s Forgotten Frontier” documentary won an Emmy, the first of many Awards. In 1999, National Geographic Adventure named Caveman’s SeaCanoe Vietnam itineraries a World Top 25 Adventure.
Phuket Weather
Apr 09, 2003 – 14:50 GMT
partly cloudy 32°C
Humid.: 70 %
(c) asianhotelsdirect

Spreading the seeds of conservation to South-East Asia, Gray explored Phang Nga’s limestone islands in January 1989. Caveman shared his discoveries with Phuket Thai’s, created an experimental Ecotourism laboratory called SeaCanoeT and Phuket’s “Low Volume, High Quality” legend was born. Today, 1,000s visit Phang Nga caves daily with so many “SeaCanoe” companies that Caveman formed John Gray’s Sea CanoeT to clear market confusion. John hates the name, but it’s obvious where Caveman’s creative Labor of Love brings Magic to just a few.

Every trip is your own documentary combining kayaking, nature, culture, great food and re-creation. The new
“Hongs by Starlight” trip avoids daytime crowds and amplifies the serenity of early years. “The Nature Game”T is an exciting new Ecotourism concept enhancing your perspectives, adding trip value, offering new personal insights and highlighting our guides’ English, training and experience.

For More Details: John Gray Sea Canoe Eco-Tours
MAP voted “Best of the Best”

Thailand’s government promotes shrimp farming, seriously threatening mangroves. Combined with over-fishing and unplanned tourism, many marine ecosystems are in crisis. Thailand and MAP need all the help they can get, so John Gray’s SeaCanoe celebrates 20 years of “Natural History by Sea Kayak” by donating 20% of your JGSC booking to MAP.

Expect real adventure. Started in Hawai’i in (1983) and Thailand (1989), John’s concept received immediate recognition. “Moloka’i’s Forgotten Frontier” won 1985 EMMY and TEDDY awards as best environmental production. Travel Channel ran his 1988-89 “Inside Hawai’i” shows three times. In Asia, exotic sea kayaking includes limestone tidal sea caves with cliff-lined lagoons behind them, and Gray invented the Tidal Technology to enter these ecosystems – see it on “Globetrekker”, “Passport to Adventure” and Canada’s “Beyond Borders”. Gray’s Ecotourism demonstration project won six environmental awards with trips receiving regular National Geographic “World’s Best” mentions.

In January a MAP group tried a Phang Nga trip and the creative sparks flew. JGSC guides gained significant and ongoing mangrove knowledge, and this fundraising concept was born. If you seek an exotic and unique adventure, contact info@johngray-seacanoe.com . Make your 20% donation directly to MAP and JGSC credits the contribution to your Tropical Kayaking adventure.

From: “John Gray’s SeaCanoe”

ASIA
S.E. ASIA

Thailand

Bangkok Pot 01Jun2004

Monkeys begging for food in the Degraded Mangroves

Mangrove destruction cause of their plight

Sutthiwit Chayutworakan – Samut Prakan

Hungry wild monkeys are descending on a beach in Muang district to beg for food every morning and afternoon, because their natural mangrove forest habitat has been encroached on and can no longer feed them.

Boonkeua Jabthanom, 52, who lives near the forest on Ammara beach in tambon Thai Baan, Muang district of Samut Prakan, said 10-20 crab-eating macaques from the mangrove forest beg for food from villagers, who fed them twice a day with rice and fruit.

Some of the animals are so hungry they break into houses to steal food if people are not at home.

The monkeys returned to the community early this year after a group of villagers, who used to catch them to cook and eat their meat and brains, had moved away, he said.

Villager Samnao Nakyanyong said the wild monkeys numbered more than 50 about 15 years ago when she first arrived at the village, but there were far less of them now.

Most had fled after being hunted or hurt by villagers, she said.

About 10 monkeys returned to the village earlier than usual this year and some brought along their offspring to beg for food, she said.

Paiboon Pinthiang, Moo 4 village headman in tambon Thai Baan, said the number of wild monkeys had declined as they had begun migrating to the opposite side of the river bank near Chulachomklao Fort years ago, after villagers encroached on their mangrove forest to set up shrimp farms.

However, they had returned to the forest early this year after mussle farms were established near the fort.

Mr Paiboon urged the local community to help protect the monkeys and called for money to be allocated from local bodies to conserve the environment and promote tourism on Ammara beach _ made famous as the location for the movie Thaley Thong (Golden Sea), which starred Ammara Asavanonda, a leading actress of her time.

From: Mike Shanahan

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Bangkok Post May 29, 2004

EDITORIAL

Squandering our natural resources

Where are our environmental activists when we really need them? The protesters who made such a fuss about a Hollywood studio filming The Beach on Koh Phi Phi several years ago and their predecessors who tried to block attempts to film the James Bond movie Th